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There was a settlement of Men on the Long Lake from ancient times;1 Esgaroth was largely destroyed in the fall of Smaug in III 2941, but rebuilt and survived into the Fourth Age
On the western shores of the Long Lake, and out into the Lake's waters, near the inflow of the Forest River
Said to mean 'reed lake'2
Other names
Lake-town, at least in its later reduced form on the waters of the Long Lake


About this entry:

  • Updated 25 October 2015
  • Updates planned: 2


A township on the shores of the Long Lake

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

A town on the shores on the Long Lake, the original home of the Lake-men. After the coming of Smaug to Erebor, Esgaroth seems to have been abandoned in favour of a more secure township built out in the Lake itself, but this is not entirely clear: the name 'Esgaroth' is also sometimes used of this second dwelling-place, which is more usually called simply 'Lake-town'.



We have no specific information about the original foundation of Esgaroth, except that its first settlers were related to the Edain, and connected with the Beornings and the Woodmen of Mirkwood. This implies that they were part of a great eastward migration after the end of the First Age, so Esgaroth might in principle have been founded as early as the Second Age. We can be sure, at least, that it was already ancient by the the later Third Age. When Bilbo passed through the town in III 2941, the town was much reduced, with the ruins of the greater old Esgaroth visible along the shores of the Long Lake, but stories spoke of Lake-town dating back to times of legend.


The name Esgaroth comes from Elvish esgar, a reed-bed, because of the wide banks of reeds that grew along the shores of the Long Lake nearby. It is curious that Lake-town, a settlement exclusively populated by Men, should have an Elvish name. Perhaps it was adopted from the Wood-elves to the west, or perhaps some among the town's ancient founders remembered the Elven-tongue from their own ancestors in the distant past.

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