The arden is a community of residents of the villages of Ardentown, Ardencroft and Ardengrove who support each other through shared cultural interests. Theater, craftsmanship and art generate a close-knit character reflected at the annual fair and throughout the year.
The 115th Fair, on Saturday, September 3, 2023, was a great success thanks to the many volunteers and the kind folks at the Hanby YMCA Outdoor Center for their help in providing facilities for parking. Special kudos to the dedicated crew who handled all of the clean up, and thanks too to those who donated their time or money for this important fundraiser.
In antiquity, the term “Forest of Arden” referred to a large area in the West Midlands which included most of modern Warwickshire and parts of Shropshire, Staffordshire and Worcestershire. In the English Civil War it was a focus of popular resistance to parliamentary control of local government and the religious and political establishment. The earliest settlement in the area was at Henley-in-Arden. An ancient mark stone known as the Coughton wayside cross where travellers prayed for safe passage through the forest can still be seen near the southwestern corner of the present-day Forest.
Arden House is unique among the Gilded Age estates because it is a complete expression of American excellence. The house was designed in 1909 for the industrialist E. H. Harriman and his wife Mary Williamson Averell to showcase American craftsmanship. The house has become one of the country’s premier conference centers.