|Location||Between Hobbiton and Bywater, leading south but unconnected to the East Road|
|Description||Minor roadway to the Cotton's farm|
South Lane was a short lane in the Westfarthing of the Shire that led from the Bywater Road southward a quarter of a mile to the farmlands of the Cotton Family. On 2 November T.A. 3019 when the Travellers were on the Bywater Road and had dispersed the first small knot of Ruffians, Sam suggested that they set up a defense at the Cotton's home down South Lane. Merry rejected this idea because the Ruffians could too easily hem them in and then smoke them out. Eventually the Hobbits decided on more direct action.
Other versions of the legendarium
In the manuscript for The Lord of the Rings Sam's suggestion to take the South Lane to the Cotton's farm was accepted. The Travellers went to the farm and the wary Cottons let them in. A fight broke out and six ruffians were killed. J.R.R. Tolkien rewrote this episode so that no ruffians were killed at the farm, instead the hobbits were trapped and planned to burst out. At this point Christopher Tolkien said his father realized that he had taken a wrong turning; there was no credible way for the hobbits to burst out unscathed.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Sauron Defeated, "Part One: The End of the Third Age: IX. The Scouring of the Shire"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Great Years"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Scouring of the Shire"