The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
The first barrows were constructed during the First Age, and tombs were still being laid among the Barrow-downs as late as III 1409;1 the barrows were inhabited by wights from III 1636; the barrows themselve survived into the Fourth Age
The Barrow-downs, east of the Old Forest and south of the Great Road across Eriador
Later barrows were made by the Dúnedain
A 'barrow' is a burial mound


About this entry:

  • Updated 14 February 2016
  • Updates planned: 1


The mounds of Tyrn Gorthad

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Years of the Trees First Age Second Age Third Age Fourth Age and Beyond

Earthworks and burial chambers made by Men in ancient days. In the Third Age, they lay within the bounds of Arnor, and later of Cardolan, and the Dúnedain used them to bury their dead. The Witch-king of Angmar, though, sent evil spirits to inhabit the Barrow-downs, and they became a place of horror.



The last Prince of Cardolan fell in battle in III 1409, and we know for sure that he was laid in a barrow (his was the one in which Frodo and his companions would later be imprisoned). This is the last definite date we have for a barrow, though it is conceivable that others may have been built after this time. At the very least there would have been no further barrows after III 1636, when evil spirits from Angmar were sent to infest the Barrow-downs.

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