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Probably introduced during the middle years of the Third Age1
Produced in the Bree-land, on the southern slopes of the Bree-hill
A variety of pipe-weed
Important peaks
Grew on the Bree-hill
'South ridge' or 'south terrace'2


About this entry:

  • Updated 3 December 2021
  • Updates planned: 1


Pipe-weed from Bree

A variety of pipe-weed grown at Bree, which even Barliman Butterbur admitted was inferior in quality to that grown in the Shire's Southfarthing. Given that pipe-smoking seems to have originated in the Bree-land, Southlinch was likely related to the original variety of leaf that grew there.



Tobold Hornblower introduced pipe-weed to the Shire from Bree in III 2670, so it must have been growing in the Bree-land before that date. The herb had been brought to Bree by travellers from Gondor, which might in principle imply that it appeared at any point in the Third Age. However, we can probably narrow this down to a time after the foundation of the Shire in III 1601 (otherwise we'd expect that the settlers would already have known about it, and so Tobold Hornblower would not have had to introduce it to the Shire nearly a thousand years later).


In his unpublished index to The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien explains the name Southlinch as referring to 'Hill fields on the S[outh] side of Bree Hill'. The old word linch refers to a ridge or terrace, so these fields on the slopes of the hill were apparently divided into terraces for the growing of pipe-weed.

See also...



About this entry:

  • Updated 3 December 2021
  • Updates planned: 1

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