HASA Resources

Places in Middle-earth

Barrow-downs

Type: Mountains, Hills, Promontories

Region: Arnor/Eriador/Lindon

Other Names Tyrn Gorthad

Location: In Eriador in the area that was Cardolan during the time of the kings. It is just east of the Old Forest; the northern edge of the Downs was at the Great East Road, and the southern and eastern edge was close to The Greenway.

Description: "They heard of the Great Barrows, and the green mounds, and the stone-rings upon the hills and in the hollows among the hills. Sheep were bleating in flocks. Green walls and white walls rose. There were fortresses on the heights. Kings of little kingdoms fought together, and the young Sun shone like fire on the red metal of their new and greedy swords. There was victory and defeat; and towers fell, fortresses were burned, and flames went up into the sky. Gold was piled on the biers of dead kings and queens; and mounds covered them, and the stone doors were shut; and the grass grew over all. Sheep walked for a while biting the grass, but soon the hills were empty again. A shadow came out of dark places far away, and the bones were stirred in the mounds. Barrow-wights walked in the hollow places with a clink of rings on cold fingers, and gold chains in the wind. Stone rings grinned out of the ground like broken teeth in the moonlight."
FotR, Book I, Ch 7, In the House of Tom Bombadil

Most of the people of Cardolan perished in the Great Plague. It was during this time "that an end came of the Dúnedain of Cardolan, and evil spirits out of Angmar and Rhudaur entered into the deserted mounds and dwelt there."
"It is said that the mounds of Tyrn Gorthad, as the Barrowdowns were called of old, are very ancient, and that many were built in the days of the old world of the First Age by the forefathers of the Edain, before they crossed the Blue Mountains into Beleriand, of which Lindon is all that now remains.
[Some say that the mound in which the Ring-bearer was imprisoned had been the grave of the last prince of Cardolan, who fell in the war of 1409.]"
RotK, Appendix A, I, iii, Eriador, Arnor, and the Heirs of Isildur

Contributors: Lyllyn 10.2.03

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