While the Kings of Gondor each had an individual Tomb on the Silent Street of Minas Tirith, the Stewards were entombed in a single structure, the House of the Stewards. Surmounted by a dome, the House was built at the far end of Rath Dínen from its entrance, so that a visitor to the Tombs would pass those of the ancient royalty of Gondor before coming to the House of the Stewards.
Within, the House had a high and vaulted roof, and contained rows of carved tombs for the Stewards' mortal remains. Denethor II, Ruling Steward at the time of the War of the Ring, was the twenty-seventh to hold the office, so the House must have been of considerable size to accommodate all of his ancestors back to Mardil's time.1
The most historically significant event to take place in the House of the Stewards was the pyre of Denethor. On 15 March III 3019, as the Battle of the Pelennor raged outside his walls, Denethor II in despair elected to take his own life and that of his son Faramir. Faramir was rescued by Gandalf, but Denethor broke his wand of office and burned to death on his own tomb, with the palantír of Minas Anor in his hands. The Anor-stone survived, but after those events it showed an image of aged hands shrivelling in fire whenever it was used.
This assumes that the House of the Stewards was used only to entomb Ruling Stewards, in which case its first occupant would have been Mardil Voronwë, who died in III 2080. It is conceivable that the House also held the tombs of Mardil's ancestors, dating back some 1,500 years before his time. If all these earlier Stewards were also held within the House, it must have been of very considerable dimensions indeed.
For acknowledgements and references, see the Disclaimer & Bibliography page.
Website services kindly sponsored by Axiom Software Ltd.
Original content © copyright Mark Fisher 1998, 2001, 2012. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.