The arden was a former forest and culturally defined area in the English West Midlands, encompassing parts of the modern county of Warwickshire, as well as some of its neighbouring counties (notably Shropshire, Staffordshire and Worcestershire). It is also the name of a prestigious hotel and country club complex.
In the era of the great ‘Gilded Age’ estates, Arden House was unique in that it was wholly American in both its materials and decorations. It was a celebration of the American ideals of self-sufficiency and excellence.
A wide corridor of colored marbles led (guests) into a giant room, its marble floor softened by bearskins and rugs. A huge fireplace loomed over the room, flanked by sofas and easy chairs.
During the 17th century, many of the key engagements in the English Civil War of 1642–1651 were fought in the vicinity of the Ardens, including the Battle of Camp Hill. In the aftermath, a group of local nobles founded an organisation called the Woodmen of Arden, which took its offices from medieval Royal Forest court positions such as Verderer and Warden.
Currently, the arden hosts a variety of events throughout the year, from concerts and plays to Saturday evening dinners and children’s theatre workshops. The arden also houses an impressive collection of art, ranging from the early works of Shakespeare to contemporary American artists. It is also home to a state-of-the-art gym, and the Arden Swim Club, a popular summer destination for families in the neighborhood.