The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
Built sometime after III 2340 (740 by the Shire-reckoning)1
Location
On the East Road, at the northern entrance to Buckland
Race
Culture
Other names

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About this entry:

  • Updated 16 September 2018
  • This entry is complete

Buckland Gate

The North Gate of the Bucklanders

Map of the Buckland Gate

The land of Buckland east of the Brandywine was protected on its landward side by the great Hedge of the High Hay, running along its eastern flank and bending back westward to meet the river at its northern end. Where the Hedge came down to the Brandywine, near the eastern end of the Brandywine Bridge, there was a Gate that allowed travellers on the East-West Road to enter the land of the Brandybucks and their people. This was the Buckland Gate, also called the Hay Gate or the North Gate.

The Buckland Gate was guarded at all times. Those who were familiar to the guards could pass into Buckland without hindrance, but strangers might be refused entrance, especially during the night. Thus the Hobbits of Buckland enjoyed some protection against trouble-makers, though there were other ways into and out of Buckland. On the west, the Bucklebury Ferry ran across the Brandywine some twenty miles southward of the Gate. On the east, we know of at least one gated tunnel, near Crickhollow, that ran under the Hedge and provided a way into the Old Forest.

At the end of the Third Age, Buckland had known peace for at least a century until the events that heralded the War of the Ring. Mysterious Black Riders raided Crickhollow searching for Frodo Baggins, and then rode out of the Buckland Gate and onto the East Road in pursuit of their quarry. In the months that followed, Lotho Sackville-Baggins took control of the Shire, and more gates were raised close to the Buckland Gate. The Brandywine Bridge, which had been free for all to pass, was now guarded by two gates, one at each end of the Bridge. At least one of those who had guarded the Buckland Gate, a Hobbit with the apt name of Hob Hayward, was transferred to guard the new gates on the Bridge. Seeing these disturbing events in the neighbouring Shire, the Bucklanders made their own Buckland Gate more secure, being less free even with familiar travellers than they had been.

After the War and the reclamation of the Shire, these alarming developments were reversed. At that time, the Buckland Gate had stood for at least a hundred years and quite possibly longer, and it seems likely that it remained in place for at least some time after the War of the Ring.


Notes

1

We don't know exactly when the great Hedge of Buckland was established, and so we can't be sure when its northern gate was made, but III 2340 is the earliest possible date. This was the year of the founding of Buckland, so before this time, there were no Hobbits living east of the river Brandywine, or at least not in organised settlements. We have reason to believe that it took some time before the Bucklanders created their Hedge and Gate, but all we can say for sure is that these defences had stood for generations at the time of the War of the Ring.

See also...

Hay Gate, North Gate

Indexes:

About this entry:

  • Updated 16 September 2018
  • This entry is complete

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