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Matěj Čadil - Crickhollow.jpg
"Crickhollow" by Matěj Čadil
General Information
People and History
EventsNazgûl searching for The One Ring, and the escape of Fatty Bolger
GalleryImages of Crickhollow

Crickhollow was a location, perhaps a small settlement, in Buckland, located a short way to the north-east of Brandy Hall.[1]

Its most notable spot was an isolated house standing back from the lane in the middle of a wide lawn. It was surrounded by low trees inside an outer hedge, and there were no other dwellings nearby. This house was occasionally occupied with Brandybuck Hobbits who grew tired of the often crowded Brandy Hall.[2]


[edit] History

Frodo Baggins was instructed by Gandalf to find a reason why he should leave Hobbiton (and the Shire) and meet him in Bree. In the summer of T.A. 3018, Frodo Baggins bought this house, as an excuse for leaving Hobbiton to the east.[3]

Ted Nasmith - Bathing at Crickhollow

While Frodo, Sam, and Pippin moved out, Merry and Fatty Bolger were already in that house, making preparations for their arrival. They were the only Hobbits who knew that Frodo would begin a journey to the east, so they made preparation for their departure as well.

On 25 September, Frodo and his company arrived at the lodgings, and met Merry and Fatty. The next day Frodo and his party departed for the Old Forest. It was decided that Fatty would stay at Crickhollow to maintain the pretence that Frodo was still in residence to hide his departure.[2] Frodo spent only one night; at dawn they picked up the ponies from a nearby stable and rode to the High Hay.

In the early hours of 30 September three Black Riders came to the house in Crickhollow,[4] but Fatty Bolger had already escaped. He had run to the nearest house and from there he spread news of an invasion, which travelled swiftly to Brandy Hall, and resulted in the rousing of the hobbits of Buckland.[5]

After the War of the Ring, Merry and Pippin lived together for some time at Crickhollow.[6]

[edit] Etymology

Tolkien noted that the first element is obsolete and of obscure meaning. A hollow is a small depression in the ground.[7]

Based on this, David Salo has suggested a speculative Old Hobbitish form *Crycholh from which Crickhollow derives. The obscure element cryc could represent, as can be expected in Stoorish, a Celtic (Old Brythonic) word for "hill". The placename would therefore mean "low place by the hill".[8]

It is not clear in The Lord of the Rings whether Crickhollow was a village or a region occupied by a solitary house. The Encyclopedia of Arda mentions Crickhollow as a village[9]. Robert Foster describes Crickhollow as a "place in Buckland"[10] whereas Karen Fonstad believes that Crickhollow is just the name of Frodo's house.[11]

[edit] Portrayals in adaptations

2007: The Lord of the Rings Online:

Crickhollow is visited by players during the Volume 1 Epic Book, "Stirrings in the Darkness". Fredegar Bolger is found worrying about the recent attack by the Ringwraiths on Crickhollow, and the broken door and cloak found in the front. Players must then defend Fredegar from enemy Crebain that descend to attack.


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "A Part of the Shire" map
  2. 2.0 2.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "A Conspiracy Unmasked"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "Three is Company"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Great Years"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "A Knife in the Dark"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Grey Havens"
  7. 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. 768
  8. David Salo, "Hobbitish Place-names" dated 23 November 1998, Elfling (accessed 9 March 2013)
  9. Mark Fisher, "Crickhollow", Encyclopedia of Arda (accessed 6 August 2012)
  10. Robert Foster, The Complete Guide to Middle-earth, p. 75, entry "Crickhollow"
  11. Karen Wynn Fonstad, The Atlas of Middle-earth, p. 120