The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
Dated back to the days before the coming of Men into Beleriand in I 310; in use as burial mounds until at least III 1409; occupied by Barrow-wights III 1636
Location
Among the Barrow-downs, between the Shire and Bree
Race
Division
First used by the ancestors of the Edain, and later by their descendants the Dúnedain
Culture
Meaning
A 'barrow' is a burial mound
Other names

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About this entry:

  • Updated 7 July 2016
  • Updates planned: 1

Great Barrows

The tombs of the Barrow-downs

The Barrow-downs east of the Shire were a ridged series of hills, on which the most ancient Men to come to that region had constructed earthworks and stone circles. There they had also entombed their dead in barrows (graves or tombs buried beneath mounds of earth). That ancient tradition carried on for thousands of years, and was even practised by the Dúnedain of Cardolan when they occupied this area in the first half of the Third Age.

Cardolan was lost in the wars against Angmar, and the Witch-king of that evil land sent dark spirits to inhabit the Great Barrows of the downs. By the end of the of the Third Age, nearly 1,400 years later, those beings still inhabited the barrows, so that the Barrow-downs remained a place of great danger to travellers. Indeed, one of these Barrow-wights came close to capturing Frodo and his companions during their departure from the Shire, and only the intervention of Tom Bombadil allowed the Ring-bearer to escape.


Indexes:

About this entry:

  • Updated 7 July 2016
  • Updates planned: 1

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