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The S.S.H.A (Scottish Special Housing Association) built the estate between 1953-57, to rehouse families from the old, overcrowded inner city tenements. Historically, Arden was a farm and formed part of Sir John Maxwell's land. One of approximately seven adjoining holdings. Situated on ancient Stewart land, originally granted to Walter Stewart, 6th High Steward of Scotland by Robert the Bruce, upon his marriage to Marjorie Bruce, the King's eldest daughter. Arden is near Thornliebank a village formed on the river to manufacture cloth and a specialized printing of cloth known as beetling. Thornliebank linen was quite famous from the early-nineteenth century until the closure of the mill, in or around 1920. The building adjoining part of what is now Arden was used as a Prisoner of War (POW) camp during the Second World War. The nearest railway station is Kennishead, named after another of Sir John Maxwell's farms.
Arden became very run-down during the 1970s and 1980s, with grants made for its refurbishment. It is not quite completed but is much improved. The shopping area containing around six businesses is in immediate need of investment and refurbishment. In 1999, the estate was bought by Glen Oaks Housing Association for a rumoured £6 million but the association has since acknowledged this may have been a rather inflated sum, and they have struggled to make necessary repairs as they are funded only by rents.
Arden boasts the new Ashpark Primary which opened on 2 December 2008 and replaced the former Arden Primary School and Carnwadric Primary School. The second school, St. Louise Primary was merged with the newly rebuilt St. Vincent's Primary in Carnwadric, St. Louise closed in June 2009 and the buildings subsequently demolished. Arden became the first housing scheme to have a public house (The Cuillins) privately built in 1964-5 which then became a brewery pub in 1968.
In popular culture
Arden was featured in the T.V Programme Colin and Justin on the Estate which looked at their efforts to improve the area. Some of the residents of Arden, and also some former residents were concerned about the slant of the show, and were particularly annoyed by the fact that the producers of the show concentrated their attention on housing units that were scheduled for demolition and not on housing that has seen extensive and successful renovation. Alasdair McKee, Glen Oaks chief executive, concluded however, that the program was a success and "the improvements have helped to convince people that we can make a difference" and contributed to a waiting list of people wanting to get into the estate.
- Media related to Arden, Glasgow at Wikimedia Commons