The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
Established after the making of Bag End, which was dug into Hobbiton Hill in approximately III 2890 (or 1290 by the Shire-reckoning; destroyed in the War of the Ring, probably in III 3019 (S.R. 1419), but later rebuilt
Location
Race
Culture
Families
At the end of the Third Age, two of the three Hobbit-holes on the Row were occupied by the Twofoot and Gamgee families1
Settlements
Pronunciation
Bagshot is pronounced 'ba'gshot'
Meaning
'Bagshot' comes from the earth 'shot' down the Hill from the making of Bag End;2 'Row' simply refers to the row of three Hobbit-holes
Other names
After its reconstruction the names 'Battle Gardens' or 'Better Smials' were considered, but the row was ultimately renamed 'New Row'

Indexes:

About this entry:

  • Updated 23 December 2018
  • Updates planned: 1

Bagshot Row

The row of smials beneath Bag End

Map of Bagshot Row

The row of hobbit-holes that were delved into Hobbiton Hill beneath Bag End. They were destroyed in the War of the Ring, and replaced by a new row called, simply, New Row.


Notes

1

We know that one of the three Hobbit-holes on Bagshot Row was occupied by Gaffer Gamgee, and another by Daddy Twofoot. The occupant of the third is not specifically stated. It was possibly Widow Rumble, who is stated to have looked after the Gaffer in a neighbourly way, but whether she was literally his neighbour on Bagshot Row is open to question.

2

In his guide to nomenclature, Tolkien explains the origins of Bagshot Row: when Bag End was tunnelled into Hobbiton Hill, the earth that was removed was cast or 'shot' over a steep dip in the hillside, and then used to construct the walls and gardens of the three Hobbit-holes that made up Bagshot Row. This explanation is helpful in dating the Row, since by definition it could not have existed before Bag End was created by Bilbo's father Bungo.

It seems hard to believe that Tolkien's choice of the name 'Bagshot' was not influenced by the fact that there are two real places in England with that name, each of which takes its name from a quite different Old English source. The larger of the two, Bagshot in Surrey, has name derived from 'badger place', while the village of Bagshot in Wiltshire is named for the 'gate of (a person named) Beocc'. There was also a village in the Shire named something close to 'badger place': Brockenbores, some miles to the northeast of Bagshot Row. This seems to be a simple coincidence, though Tolkien might conceivably have placed that village as a nod one of the true origins of the name 'Bagshot'.

Indexes:

About this entry:

  • Updated 23 December 2018
  • Updates planned: 1

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