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]


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

Michel and mickle- (cf. Mickleburg) are derived from the Old English micel, words meaning "much" or "large".

Portrayal in adaptations[edit]

2007: The Lord of the Rings Online:

Hobbits are able to quick travel to Michel Delving if they have earned the trait, have it equipped and have one travel ration.