Arden is a large area of forest land in the north-western part of Warwickshire, England. It was once thickly forested and known as the “Forest of Arden.” The forest is named after Shakespeare’s mother, Mary Arden, who was born in the village of Balsall, near Stratford-upon-Avon.
The forest was so important that it spawned a number of medieval settlements, including the town Henley-in-Arden in a valley of the River Alne. Other villages included Coleshill, Ulverlei and Knowle.
During the late medieval period, the Forest of Arden was an important place of religious significance to the Knights Templar and other order. The Order maintained a preceptory at Temple Balsall in the middle of the forest.
Today, the forest remains an important part of local history and culture. It is also home to the Arden Academy, a leading coed school, and the Forest of Arden Hotel and Country Club complex.
It is home to numerous historical attractions, such as the Coughton Wayside Cross and Arden Sandstone, a distinctive Triassic white heterolithic sandstone quarried in the forest and used for many historic buildings. The area is also a natural habitat for several rare species of plants and animals, including birds and mammals such as red squirrels and bears.
In recent years, tourism has become an important part of the economy. There are many hotels in the area, and the forests surrounding them offer a variety of recreational opportunities for residents and visitors alike.
The Forest of Arden is located next to Stratford-upon-Avon, the hometown of Shakespeare. It is also close to Lapworth, a village in which Shakespeare’s father lived.
It was once a rich and densely forested area, and the Forest of Arden is still one of the most heavily wooded areas in central England. This forest is surrounded by several other woodlands, including the Cannock Chase AONB to the north and the Cotswolds AONB to the south.
At the southwestern edge of the forest lies an ancient mark stone known as the Coughton Cross, which was a place where travellers would pray for safe passage through the forest before entering. The ancient sandstone, which is owned by the National Trust, is the only one of its kind in Europe.
There is a lot of information about the forest on the Internet. However, not all of it is true.
During the Roman period, no roads penetrated the forest; Icknield Street, Watling Street and Fosse Way all went around it, while a salt track bounded the south side. Consequently, the Forest of Arden was not subject to forest law in the same way that other areas were.