The arden is an area of England that was formerly heavily forested. It is primarily located in Warwickshire, but also includes parts of Staffordshire and Worcestershire. It is traditionally regarded as extending from the River Avon to the River Tame, and is named after the Forest of Arden.
It is a protected area of woodland, and is not an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) but it does contain a number of rivers, ponds and valleys that are important for wildlife. It is also the home of a unique stone called Arden Sandstone, which has a reddish tint to it from the presence of algal species.
Many villages in the arden are known for their sandstone building. The Triassic white heterolithic sandstone found in these places contains a large amount of calcium carbonate, which is known as ‘lime’. It is used in a variety of buildings, and is prominently found in the villages of Temple Balsall and Knowle.
During the medieval period the area was heavily forested and inhabited, and it is believed that some of the key battles of the English Civil War were fought in the arden. Robert Catesby, leader of the Gunpowder Plot, was born in Lapworth, a village in the arden and is said to have had strong Catholic sympathies.
As the arden became more and more populated, it began to be cultivated. During the thirteenth century and into the fourteenth century, a number of small towns were formed within the arden and settlements were created around them such as Solihull, Tanworth-in-Arden, and Coleshill.
There were a number of different towns and settlements in the arden at this time, and it was a popular place for people to travel and live in. One of these towns was Henley-in-Arden, which is a village that sits on the banks of the River Alne.
Henley-in-Arden was a centre for the manufacturing of pottery, and the town grew in prosperity throughout the 13th and 14th centuries. The town is now a conservation area and features a number of buildings that date from the late thirteenth to sixteenth centuries.
The arden is home to several museums, which are open to the public. These include the Castle Museum, the Old House and the Arden Art Gallery.
There are also a number of tourist attractions in the arden including the Forest of Arden Hotel and Country Club, the Shakespeare Birthplace Museum and the Arden Academy. Tourism is an important source of income for the arden area.
The arden is also the site of numerous festivals and events, including the annual Arden Fair. This event, now in its third year, draws more than 400,000 visitors to the arden each year. The festival has a reputation for providing excellent shopping and entertainment, and is a great event to attend with family and friends.