Tolkien Gateway

Tighfield

Tighfield was a village or town located somewhere in the Shire, though its exact location is not known. It is important to history as the home of many of Samwise Gamgee's ancestors. His great-great-grandfather Wiseman Gamwich came to Tighfield about two hundred years before the War of the Ring, and Wiseman's son Hob Gammidge is recorded as a roper, one of a long line of Tighfield rope-makers.[1]

Hob's son Hobson, and in turn his son Andwise, were said to have practised their craft in a rope-walk (that is, a rope-maker's yard) for many years.[2]

Hob's grandson was Hamfast Gamgee, Sam's father, who left Tighfield for Hobbiton, to start a new life as a gardener.[3]

[edit] Etymology

Tighfield's name is associated with the tradition of rope-making there and contains an old word for "rope" (see English "tie", whose spelling was assimilated to verb "tie"). It was the site of a rope-maker's yard, also called "rope-walk" because the ropes were stretched out in long lines over trestles at intervals.[4]

Tolkien notes the modern place-name elements tigh, teigh, tye, tey which are unrelated; they mean "an enclosed piece of land" and do not occur as the first element in a compound.[4]

Tolkien also noted that the term "rope-walk" in the text has confused several of his translators, to the point of imagining rope bridges.[4]

[edit] References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "The Family Trees", Table S2 Rise of the Family of Gardners of the Hill, p. 115
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The Taming of Sméagol"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix C, "The Longfather-tree of Master Samwise"
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 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. 777