The arden is an area of wooded land located in Warwickshire, England. It is named after a Brythonic word ardu, which means “high.”
The forest of Arden was once thickly forested and surrounded by Roman roads, including Icknield Street, Watling Street, and Fosse Way. The Domesday Book shows that it was still sparsely settled in 1086.
There were also a number of hill forts within the Forest of Arden, such as Henley-in-Arden, Tanworth-in-Arden and Hampton-in-Arden. Some of the settlements were a remnant of the Roman era, others were Anglo-Saxon.
A medieval era wayside cross known as the Coughton Cross, located at the southern end of the Forest of Arden, was allegedly a place where travellers would pray for safe passage through the forest prior to entering it. It is still preserved and occupied by the National Trust.
The Coughton Cross is the only ancient wayside cross that still stands in the Forest of Arden. It is found at the junction of Icknield Street and a salt track that leads from Droitwich in the south of the forest.
During the medieval era, it is believed that the forest began to become enclosed and deforested. This is due to the dense and large size of the forest as well as its dangers from bears, wolves and other wild animals that were not a problem in other forests at the time.
Royal forests subject to forest law were established in the arden during the Anglo-Saxon and early Norman eras, but the forest of Arden did not have its own woodland lords or court like other large royal forests.
As in other areas of Great Britain, the arden was an important hunting ground for early farmers and was home to many wild animals. It was also an important site for pilgrimage during the Middle Ages and was the location of a number of holy shrines and religious sites.
Today, the arden is a popular tourist destination. It is home to the famous Forest of Arden Hotel and Country Club, as well as the Forest of Arden Academy.
The Forest of Arden is also a popular hiking and cycling destination. There is a network of trails that follow the paths and routes that were used by people living in the forest in the past.
Besides the forest, the area is home to some of the most historic buildings in England. It is also home to a number of museums, art galleries and heritage sites.
History of the arden
The arden was the location of several key events in English history. It was the location of the Gunpowder Plot in 1605, as well as a number of key engagements during the English Civil War.