The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
Probably founded in IV 41 (1462 by the Shire-reckoning)1
Location
On the Tower Hills in the Westmarch of the Shire
Race
Culture
Family
Meaning
Named for the fact that it was built under the ancient White Towers on the Tower Hills
Other names
The Towers

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About this entry:

  • Updated 4 March 2017
  • Updates planned: 1

Undertowers

The home of the Wardens of Westmarch

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A dwelling of hobbits in the Westmarch, the region between the Far Downs and the Tower Hills gifted to the Shire-hobbits some years after the War of the Ring.

It was at Undertowers that Sam's daughter Elanor settled with Fastred of Greenholm and gave rise to the Fairbairn family, the hereditary Wardens of Westmarch. In time, the Fairbairns would become as influential as the Tooks and Brandybucks in the history of the Shire, and it was at Undertowers that they preserved the Red Book of Westmarch, whose contents formed the ultimate basis for the account of The Lord of the Rings.


Notes

1

In the Tale of Years (Appendix B to The Lord of the Rings), the entry for Shire-year 1462 includes the comment 'Fastred and Elanor make their dwelling at Undertowers on the Tower Hills...' It's not completely clear from this wording whether it refers to Undertowers being founded in that year, or whether it already existed when the new Warden settled there. At most, Undertowers could only have been founded shortly before this, because the Westmarch was only settled by Hobbits ten years before this date.

Note that some older editions of The Lord of the Rings contain a minor dating error, listing the settlement of Undertowers as taking place in 1455 rather than 1462; this has been corrected in later editions.

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