From Tolkien Gateway
A Cottage in the Marish - East Farthing by Kay Woollard

The Marish was a boggy and fertile farmland region in the Eastfarthing of the Shire.

Geography[edit | edit source]

The Marish was a region of reclaimed marshland[1] on the western banks of the River Brandywine between Stock and Rushey, and a road[note 1] circled around its the north end. The two villages were connected by the Causeway, which traversed the Marish. The Stock-brook traversed the region.[2][3]

It was boggy and especially difficult to traverse, full of bogs, ditches, briars and fences. To the east, the landscape phased into well-tended fields and meadows, with hedges, gates and dikes for drainage. Between the two villages was the lane to Bamfurlong, and five miles north of that was the road to the Bucklebury Ferry.[3]

History[edit | edit source]

Marish was occupied by Hobbits that came later into the Shire than other Hobbits, mostly Stoors who arrived around S.R. 30, from the south. The folk of the Marish began the habit of building farm-houses and barns which later spread to the rest of the Shire.[4]

In S.R. 379, Bucca of the Marish was elected Thain to rule the Shire in the stead of the former King of Arthedain.[5] Marish was the home of the Oldbucks, and Thainship, for several centuries; that was until Bucca's descendant Thain Gorhendad Oldbuck, left the Marish in S.R. 740[6] to colonize Buckland and became its first Master. Thainship passed to the Tooks, but many farmers of the Marish acknowledged the authority of the Master of Buckland rather than that of the Thain.[7]

During Frodo Baggins's trek across the Shire, he and his companions on 25 September left the road in the Green Hills and a shortcut across the Marish to the Ferry. They followed the course of the Stock-brook and rested in a wooded belt, while the land was roamed by at least two Black Riders.[3]

Culture[edit | edit source]

Having arrived later and separately from most Shire hobbits, the folk of the Marish had many peculiar names and strange words in their speech (see: Stoorish). The Stoors were the only hobbits who wore boots in muddy weather; the inhabitants of the Marish were mostly house-dwellers[4] the flat and boggy land being obviously unsuitable for the burrowing of hobbit-holes. Bamfurlong was the home of Farmer Maggot, stoutly built of brick, with a high wall all around it, protected by three large dogs.

The Shire-folk in this region were more cautious than their fellow Hobbits who lived farther from the borders, and so they sought protection from the dangers beyond the River. Farmer Maggot was intolerant to tresspassers and kept ferocious dogs for protection.[3]


  1. The road's name was perhaps the Stock Road.