Tolkien Gateway


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Ted Nasmith - Under the Spell of the Barrow-wight.jpg
LocationMost notably in Barrow-downs
AppearanceElongated mounds

Barrows were earthworks and burial chambers made by Men in the Elder Days.

In the Third Age, they lay within the bounds of Arnor, and later of Cardolan, and the Dúnedain of Arnor used them to bury their dead.

The Witch-king of Angmar, though, sent evil spirits to inhabit the Barrow-downs, and they became a place of horror.


A "barrow" (or "berrow"; from English beorg, berg, 'hill, mound') not to be confused with the wheeled vehicle, is a tumulus or other prehistoric grave-mound.[1]


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Nomenclature of The Lord of the Rings" in Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 766