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In the southern parts of the Shire's Eastfarthing, extending from the eastern end of the Green Hill Country
The Stock-brook emerged from the trees of Woody End, as did potentially the Shirebourn and Thistle Brook1
Probably simply 'wooded region'2


About this entry:

  • Updated 17 May 2020
  • This entry is complete

Woody End

The high woods above the Marish

Map of Woody End

A broad and densely wooded upland region of the Eastfarthing of the Shire, lying between the Green Hill Country on the west and the Marish on the east. From the hills in the heart of the Woody End sprang the Stock-brook, which ran down eastwards to meet the Brandywine at Stock.

The Woody End itself was only sparsely populated, though the village of Woodhall lay among the fringes of the oak forest at its northern edge. This is perhaps the reason why the region was favoured by the Elves, who would travel there at times from Lindon, or pass through from Rivendell and elsewhere on pilgrimages to the Tower Hills. For a time the Woody End had less savoury visitors, too, when a group of ruffians settled there at the time of Sharkey's rule in the Shire.

After the Shire-hobbits won back their land, Elves were seen in the Woody End again. In particular, it was here that Frodo Baggins and his fellow Travellers met the Keepers of the Three Rings on 22 September III 3021. From there the companions travelled on to the Grey Havens, and Bilbo and Frodo set sail from Middle-earth aboard the White Ship.



It's necessary to say 'potentially' here, because we have no distinct western limit for the woods of Woody End. Certainly both the Shirebourn and Thistle Brook emerged from a belt of woodland connected to the trees of Woody End, but whether their sources were strictly within that region, or belonged more properly to the neighbouring Green Hill Country (or indeed both) is not entirely clear.


Anglo-Saxon ende originally had a very wide range of meanings relating to the idea of a broad area or region, and this seems to be the intended meaning here, so most likely the name 'Woody End' simply refers a wooded region. The word can also carry the implication of a place at a far limit or boundary (as in the phrase 'the ends of the Earth'), though that isn't a necessary part of its meaning, and does not seem particularly relevant in this context.

'End' has an alternative later meaning, describing a place at the end of the road. This is indeed the meaning as used in the name 'Bag End', so it may also apply here. However, there is only one real candidate for a road ending, being the small lane that led to Woodhall within Woody End. That might possibly have given its name to the entire region of woodland, but the older interpretation of 'region' seems to fit rather better.


About this entry:

  • Updated 17 May 2020
  • This entry is complete

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