"Henley-in-Arden" Henley in Arden by leffe3

Henley in Arden Travel Guide: 15 reviews and 32 photos

Henley can boast almost a thousand years of history, although in its early days it was a parish of Wootten Wawen, a town a few miles away.

Henley (Anglo Saxon for 'high clearing') came into its own in the late 12th century, a market venue for the castle of Beaudesert and the de Montfort family (Beaudesert was built in earlier in the century). The castle was laid to waste in 1265, but the market town flourished, being on the busy Birmingham to Stratford route and having received its official market charter in 1221. It was plundered in the English Civil War in 1643 but the town seems to managed to avoid extensive involvement in any major events and simply 'got on' with being a successful market town.

The town is fairly small - less than 3,000 inhabitants - but it's mile long High Street is a registered conservation area, containing over 150 buildings listed as being of special architectural or historical interest. The oldest is the Joseph Hardy House - now the Heritage Centre - parts of which have been dated to 1345. In the centre of town is the 15th century market cross, one of only a few left in Warwickshire.

This, along with the many 'olde world' pubs, award-winning restaurants, the market and the famed Henley Ice Cream bring visitors in their droves. And it's a worthwhile visit - one of my personal favourite historic towns near to Birmingham (as a young adult, friends would drive out to sample some the real ales at the historic pubs).

  • Last visit to Henley in Arden: Apr 2009
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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