Modern continuum mechanics needs new mathematical techniques to describe the complexity of real physical processes. Recently fractional calculus, a branch of mathematical analysis that studies differential operators of an arbitrary (real or complex) order, emerged as a powerful tool for modelling complex systems. It is due to the fact that fractional differential operators introduce non-locality to the description considered in a natural way. In this sense they generalize classical (local) formulations and make the description more realistic. This paper deals with the generalisation of the Kirchhoff–Love plates theory using fractional calculus. This new formulation in non-local, thus all common fields like e.g. internal forces or displacements at a specific point contain somehow information from its finite surroundings, which is in agreement with experimental observations.