Ancient Arden :: Shared Description

“Ancient Arden is the most extensive Arden landscape and forms the core of ancient countryside in Warwickshire. It is a small-scale, intricate landscape with many low rounded hills, steep scarps and small incised valleys. Landform is rarely dominant but in places is emphasised by hilltop woodlands and wooded scarps… Characteristic features include: a varied undulating topography; many winding brooks and small rivers; a close network of winding lanes, tracks and paths, often confined by tall hedgebanks; an ancient irregular pattern of small to medium-sized fields; hedgerow and roadside oaks and small woodlands, resulting in short views and a sense of enclosure; field ponds associated with permanent pasture; dispersed settlement: hamlets centred on farms; wayside cottages; few villages; and many place names ending in Green or End.

“The region known as Arden is an area of former wood pasture and ancient farmlands lying [mainly] on the eastern side of the Birmingham plateau.” Roughly speaking it is bounded by the rivers Tame and Anker in the north and the Warwickshire Avon in the south, although Arden-type landscapes extend into northeast Worcestershire and the former West Midlands county. “Although there are few dramatic physical features, the Arden countryside has an intimate, historic character with a strong sense of unity. Brick and timber are the chief building materials throughout the area [in the countryside, not the urban intrusions] and the many farmsteads and hamlets blend subtly with their surroundings. This is Shakespeare’s ‘Forest of Arden’, historically a region of woodlands and ‘waste’ which remains today [in 1993] one of the more wooded parts of the Midlands.

“The name Arden is derived from the old British word ‘Ardu’ meaning ‘high land’. This relates primarily to the northern and central parts of the region which lie across the main Severn-Trent watershed… Agriculturally Arden may have originally served as an area of seasonal pasture for the more intensively developed Feldon [felden] estates to the south [of the Avon]. However, permanent pastoral settlements were established at an early date. The resulting clearances were farmed as small hedged enclosures or ‘closes’ which created a characteristic pattern of small irregular fields.”

Even where enclosure, emparkment, industry, transport, mining, suburban and other development have taken place the original character may still be felt. Place names ending in Heath and Common, as well as Green and End, occur throughout the suburbs of Birmingham, Coventry, Solihull and Redditch, and are a reminder of Arden's original extent. More recent urban and suburban landscapes are enriched by the ancient oaks and hollies, timber-framed houses and fragments of woodland and pasture that survive in their midst.

Extracts in double quotes are from ‘Warwickshire Landscapes Guidelines: Arden’, Warwickshire County Council, 1993.
by Robin Stott
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120 images use this description. Preview sample shown below:

SP1967 : Fields below High Cross by Robin Stott
SP1765 : Meadow and woodland, Preston Bagot by Robin Stott
SP2069 : Foxbrook Cottage by Robin Stott
SP2164 : Field oaks east of Claverdon by Robin Stott
SP1865 : Field by Ossetts Hole Lane by Robin Stott
SP2165 : Field with pipes in the corner by Robin Stott
SP2064 : Claverdon Leys Farm by Robin Stott
SP2069 : Manège near 'Foxbrook' by Robin Stott
SP1765 : Brook west of Manor Farm by Robin Stott
SP1171 : Lineside equipment near a farm crossing by Robin Stott
SP1171 : Four old trees on a bank by Robin Stott
SP2065 : Green pastures below Claverdon Manor by Robin Stott
SP1171 : Brook House Farm by Robin Stott
SP1966 : Bluebells in woodland, Yarningale Common by Robin Stott
SP2165 : Partial hedge west of Pinley Hill by Robin Stott
SP1866 : Flood gauge, Rookery Lane ford by Robin Stott
SP2066 : Redeveloped cottages, Pinley Green by Robin Stott
SP2165 : Lane heads north from Pinley Abbey by Robin Stott
SP1171 : The young river Alne north of Tanworth by Robin Stott
SP2165 : Railway bridge over Pinley Road by Robin Stott
SP1967 : Meadow below Holywell Wood, High Cross by Robin Stott
SP1765 : Bluebells on a steep bank by Robin Stott
SP2066 : Horsebox, manège and paddock, Pinley Green by Robin Stott
SP1866 : Woodland, north side of Mill Mound by Robin Stott
SP1171 : Pastures below 'Tom Hill' by Robin Stott

... and 95 more images.

These Shared Descriptions are common to multiple images. For example, you can create a generic description for an object shown in a photo, and reuse the description on all photos of the object. All descriptions are public and shared between contributors, i.e. you can reuse a description created by others, just as they can use yours.
Created: Mon, 11 Apr 2011, Updated: Mon, 11 Apr 2011

The 'Shared Description' text on this page is Copyright 2011 Robin Stott, however it is specifically licensed so that contributors can reuse it on their own images without restriction.

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