The Clifton's held the manors of Clifton and Wilford for nearly 700 years and are descended from one of William The Conquerors Knights, Alvared. Many of the Clifton's were destined to rub shoulders with royalty. The family assumed the name of 'Clifton' from the village when they purchased the lands in 1272 from the de Rhodes family. One branch of the family likewise assumed the name 'Wilford'. The family home became Clifton Hall on the summit of the Clifton heights overlooking the a large bend in the River Trent.