The arden is a large area of wooded land in Warwickshire, England that was once known as the forest of Arden. The arden was a popular place for settlement and is home to many towns such as Henley-in-Arden, Tanworth-in-Arden and Hampton-in-Arden.
The name arden is believed to have originated from a Brythonic word ardu- meaning high or highland. The arden was originally thickly forested and was one of the largest forests in England, although it never was subject to forest law, unlike other forest areas such as the Sutton Park Forest in Anglo-Saxon times or Feckenham Forest in early Norman times.
Arden was a significant area of activity in the Middle Ages, and was home to many important towns and cities, including Henley-in-Arden, Coleshill, Ulverlei and Temple Balsall. It also had a major military and political influence throughout the medieval era.
Its forests are a unique and interesting part of the history of Great Britain, and it is often considered one of the most beautiful places in the country, due to its pristine nature. It is the site of the UK National Trail, The Arden Way, which follows old paths and routes across rural parts of the forest.
There are a number of historic villages in the forest, such as Knowle, Henley-in-Arden and Coughton Court, that are still inhabited today. There are also many buildings made of a distinctive Triassic white heterolithic sandstone that is quarried in the area, and used to build many of the local houses and churches.
During the medieval era the arden became an important centre for the Knights Templar, who owned a preceptory at Temple Balsall in the middle of the forest. They ruled the arden until their suppression in 1312.
Away from the main forest, there were many smaller fortified sites and settlements, such as the hillfort of Henley-in-Arden, which is located near the outskirts of Birmingham, and the hamlet of Coleshill, in a valley near Coventry.
The forest was a rich and fertile land, which was irrigated by the River Alne and the streams that flow through it, as well as through the ponds in the area. The forest was also important as a source of wood, with its timber used for the manufacture of ships and for furniture.
Tourism in the arden is a large part of the economy, and it is a popular destination for visitors to Warwickshire, as the area has several historic landmarks and attractions, as well as a beautiful natural environment. There are also a number of hotels in the area, such as the Forest of Arden Hotel and Country Club, and many restaurants.