Michel Delving

From Tolkien Gateway
Michel Delving
Matěj Čadil - Michel Delving.jpg
"Michel Delving" by Matěj Čadil
General Information
LocationWestfarthing, the Shire
GalleryImages of Michel Delving

Michel Delving was the chief town of the Shire. It was located in the White Downs that lay within the Westfarthing on the East Road, perhaps south to its smaller counterpart, the Little Delving.[1] Although located within a hilly region the town had many above-ground houses of wood, brick, or stone.

This large town was unofficially considered to be more or less the Hobbits' "capital".[2] The Mayor of Michel Delving (or of the Shire) was the only real official in the Shire, under whom were attached the offices of Postmaster and First Shirriff for the entire region.[3]

The Town Hole,[4] the museum known as the Mathom-house,[2] as well as the storage tunnels later known as Lockholes,[5] could be found in Michel Delving.

During the occupation of the Shire, the Ruffians converted the storage tunnels into prisons. They also used the tunnels (as well as sheds and deserted holes) to store great amounts of foods and beer. On 4 November T.A. 3019 Frodo Baggins rode to Michel Delving and released the prisoners from the Lockholes. The Hobbits also appropriated the Ruffians's stores.[6]

Etymology[edit | edit source]

Its name means simply "Large Excavation", being derived from a possible Old Hobbitish Micel Delfing.[7].

Michel is derived from Old English micel, meaning "great". Since in Old English c is normally pronounced as modern ch, here most probably the same pronunciation is kept, while its spelling is modernized. The same element also appears as mickle, as in Mickleburg.

Portrayal in adaptations[edit | edit source]

2007: The Lord of the Rings Online:

Michel Delving is the chief settlement of the Shire. It contains various player facilities, such as vendors, notaries, vault-keepers, an auction house, a crafting area and a swift travel services. A wooden statue of Marcho and Blanco stands proudly in the center of the town. Michel Delving also boasts to have the largest tavern in all of the Shire, named Bird and Baby Inn in reference to The Eagle and Child.