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The North Arden Heritage Trail

We wish to thank the many local people who committed their time to help with this project, bringing a sense of pride and appreciation of their surrounding environment for the enjoyment of all.

Today the trail provides a unique opportunity to celebrate the craft industries, agriculture and the industrial past while forging new links between the parishes through the circular walks.

The trail and the heritage on which it is based focuses on three themes and particularly how they interconnect.

These are:

The former textile trade (hatting, ribbon making, and weaving)

The wealth of natural resources i.e.

  • Minerals (e.g. coal for looms and the rare manganese ore for bleaching cloth
  • Water for power, a drinking supply and transportation
  • Timber for hat blocks and as charcoal for smelting iron

Early industrialists

There is no particular start or finish to the 25 mile trail route however starting in Atherstone (former centre for the hatting industry) the trail follows the Coventry canal (with its unique style of sign writing) in a clockwise direction to wards Mancetter (a site of Roman pottery industry), onto Hartshill Hayes (where manganese was discovered), Ansley (renown for ribbon making), Arley (whose coal was reputedly supplied to Victorian Royal family) Fillongley (home of the silk weavers), Shustoke (with its pumping house) Nether Whitacre (home of the Jennen's Family) Hurley (with its mineral railway line) Baddesley, Merevale and finally Atherstone.

The trail particularly concentrates on the heritage from the 16th Century to the present day.