The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Southward of Woody End in the Eastfarthing of the Shire
Willowbottom stood near the brook's mouth
Probably in the eastern Green Hill Country,1 among the western woods of Woody End
Into the river Shirebourn below Willowbottom
Named for the flowering plant thistle, which evidently grew along the brook's banks


About this entry:

  • Updated 9 January 2016
  • Updates planned: 1

Thistle Brook

A tributary of the Shirebourn

Map of Thistle Brook

A stream of the Eastfarthing of the Shire. It flowed southeast round Woody End and through the village of Willowbottom before its waters emptied into the River Shirebourn.



On the large-scale map of the Shire in The Lord of the Rings, the source of Thistle Brook appears to be just southward of the tree line of Woody End (that is, a few miles to the south of the Green Hills). It seems geographically doubtful that the stream would rise at the foot of a hill, and is rather more likely that the map depicts the stream as it emerges from the trees, with its actual spring being on the higher ground of the Green Hills, hidden within the wood.

This idea is supported by the fact that the same approach is occasionally used on other maps. For example, we know that the river Entwash had its sources deep within Fangorn Forest, but its course is not mapped until it emerges from the trees on the south side of that Forest.

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