Michel Delving was the chief town of the Shire in the White Downs, that lay in the Westfarthing of the Shire. The large town was unofficially considered to be more or less the "capital" of the Shire. The Mathom-house could be found in Michel Delving. The Mayor of Michel Delving was an important official in the Shire, particularly as Postmaster for the entire region, and was often unofficially considered to be the "Mayor of the Shire"
Its name means simply "Large Excavation". Michel and mickle- are archaic words meaning "large".