HASA Resources

Places in Middle-earth

Marish, The

Type: Kingdoms, Realms, Lands

Region: Bree/The Shire

Location: A strip of land east of the Brandywine River in the Eastfarthing; settled by Stoors; known for its agriculture, especially mushrooms.

Description: The habit of building farmhouses and barns was said to have begun among the inhabitants of the Marish down by the Brandywine. The Hobbits of of that quarter, the Eastfarthing, were rather large and heavy-legged, and they wore dwarf-boots in muddy weather. But they were well known to be Stoors in a large part of their blood, as indeed was shown by the down that many grew on their chins. No Harfoot or Fallohide had any trace of a beard. Indeed, the folk of the Marish, and of Buckland, east of the River, which they afterwards occupied, came for the most part later into the Shire up from south-away; and they still had many peculiar names and strange words not found elsewhere in the Shire.

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Prologue, Concerning Hobbits

Long ago Gorhendad Oldbuck, head of the Oldbuck family, one of the oldest in the Marish or indeed in the Shire, had crossed the river.... He built (and excavated) Brandy Hall, changed his name to Brandybuck, and settled down to become master of what was virtually a small independent country. ...

The people in the Marish were friendly with the Bucklanders, and the authority of the Master of the Hall (as the head of the Brandybuck family was called) was still acknowledged by the farmers between Stock and Rushey.

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 1, Ch 5, A Conspiracy Unmasked

In front of them they saw the lower lands dotted with small clumps of trees that melted away in the distance to a brown woodland haze. They were looking across the Woody End towards the Brandywine River.

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 1, Ch 3, Three Is Company

'The Ferry is east from Woodhall; but the hard road curves away to the left.... It goes round the north end of the Marish so as to strike the causeway from the Bridge above Stock.' ...

'The country is rough round here, and there are bogs and all kinds of difficulties down in the Marish' ...

The banks of the stream sank, as it reached the levels and became broader and shallower, wandering off towards the Marish and the River.

'Why, this is the Stock-brook!' said Pippin. ...

They waded the stream, and hurried over a wide open space, rush-grown and treeless, on the further side. Beyond that they came again to a belt of trees: tall oaks, for the most part, with here and there an elm tree or an ash. The ground was fairly level, and there was little undergrowth; but the trees were too close for them to see far ahead.

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 1, Ch 4, A Short Cut to Mushrooms

... the land became steadily more tame and well-ordered. Soon they came into well-tended fields and meadows: there were hedges and gates and dikes for drainage. Everything seemed quiet and peaceful, just an ordinary corner of the Shire. ...

They passed along the edge of a huge turnip-field, and came to a stout gate. Beyond it a rutted lane ran between low well-laid hedges towards a distant clump of trees. ...

'I know these fields and this gate!' [Pippin] said. 'This is Bamfurlong, old Farmer Maggot's land. That's his farm away there in the trees.' ...

They went along the lane, until they saw the thatched roofs of a large house and farm-buildings peeping out among the trees ahead. The Maggots, and the Puddifoots of Stock, and most of the inhabitants of the Marish, were house-dwellers; and this farm was stoutly built of brick and had a high wall all round it. There was a wide wooden gate opening out of the wall into the lane.

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 1, Ch 4, A Short Cut to Mushrooms

Hobbits have a passion for mushrooms, surpassing even the greediest likings of Big People. A fact which partly explains young Frodo's long expeditions to the renowned fields of the Marish, and the wrath of the injured Maggot.

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 1, Ch 5, A Conspiracy Unmasked

Contributors: Elena Tiriel 31Oct05

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