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Places in Middle-earth

Bree-hill

Type: Mountains, Hills, Promontories

Region: Bree/The Shire

Meaning: hill-hill

Location: A hill in Eriador, east of the Shire along the Great East-West Road, with the villages of Bree, Staddle, and Combe on its slopes.

Description:

'[Four] miles along the Road you'll come upon a village, Bree under Bree-hill, with doors looking westward. There you'll find an old inn that is called The Prancing Pony.'

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 1, Ch 8, Fog on the Barrow-downs

Bree was the chief village of the Bree-land.... Besides Bree itself, there was Staddle on the other side of the hill, Combe in a deep valley a little further eastward, and Archet on the edge of the Chetwood. Lying round Bree-hill and the villages was a small country of fields and tamed woodland only a few miles broad.

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 1, Ch 9, At the Sign of the Prancing Pony

The village of Bree had some hundred stone houses of the Big Folk, mostly above the Road, nestling on the hillside with windows looking west.

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 1, Ch 9, At the Sign of the Prancing Pony

There were also many families of hobbits in the Bree-land.... They lived mostly in Staddle though there were some in Bree itself, especially on the higher slopes of the hill, above the houses of the Men.

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 1, Ch 9, At the Sign of the Prancing Pony

Down on the Road, where it swept to the right to go round the foot of the hill, there was a large inn.

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 1, Ch 9, At the Sign of the Prancing Pony

[The] inn... had a front on the Road, and two wings running back on land partly cut out of the lower slopes of the hill, so that at the rear the second-floor windows were level with the ground.

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 1, Ch 9, At the Sign of the Prancing Pony

Passing through [Bree], they kept on along the Road for some miles. It bent to the left, curving back into its eastward line as it rounded the feet of Bree-hill, and then it began to run swiftly downwards into wooded country. To their left they could see some of the houses and hobbit-holes of Staddle on the gentler south-eastern slopes of the hill; down in a deep hollow away north of the Road there were wisps of rising smoke that showed where Combe lay....

[The] Road... had left Bree-hill standing tall and brown behind....

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 1, Ch 11, A Knife in the Dark

Since the survival of traces of the older language of the Stoors and the Bree-men resembled the survival of Celtic elements in England, I have sometimes imitated the latter in my translation. Thus Bree, Combe (Coomb), Archet, and Chetwood are modelled on relics of British nomenclature, chosen according to sense: bree 'hill', chet 'wood'.

The Return of the King, LoTR Appendix F, The Languages and Peoples of the Third Age: On Translation

Contributors: Elena Tiriel 11Oct07

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