Buckland, later known as the Eastmarch, is a small colony of the Hobbits between the Old Forest and the Brandywine River (Baranduin). Although it was colonized by Shire-hobbits, it was not formally a part of the Shire until early in the Fourth Age, hundreds of years after it was founded.
Location, Villages and BordersEdit
Buckland is located east of the Brandywine river. The hobbits living in Buckland grew the High Hay, a hedge, to protect themselves against evil from the nearby Old Forest, which borders Buckland to the east. Buckland is bordered in the north by the Hay Gate, the only entrance to Buckland near the Brandywine Bridge. In the south, the borders of Buckland follow the High Hay until the Withywindle joins the Baranduin near the village of Haysend. The most important town of Buckland is Bucklebury where Brandy Hall is located, home of the Master of Buckland, one of the important officials of the Shire.
An important landmark is the Bucklebury ferry, a raft-ferry used as the second main crossing point of the Brandwine river from the Shire to Buckland, after the Brandywine Bridge (which is twenty miles further south). It is apparently left unmanned to be used by hobbit travellers as needed. En route to the new house at Crickhollow, Frodo Baggins, Sam Gamgee, Meriadoc Brandybuck, and Peregrin Took crossed using the Ferry just before the arrival of a Black Rider, who was forced to go around to the Brandywine Bridge as there were no boats kept on the western bank of the river. (In the film version by Peter Jackson, the encounter is more immediate.)
History and CultureEdit
Buckland was settled around TA 2340 (SR 740) by Gorhendad Oldbuck, the ancestor of Meriadoc Brandybuck. Gorhenhad Oldbuck thus became the first Master of Buckland. He renamed himself Brandybuck, which remained his family's name.
Because Buckland is east of the Brandywine, it isn't part of the land given to the Hobbits by King Argeleb II of Arthedain. It was thus not part of the Shire proper until the beginning of the Fourth Age when King Elessar made Buckland, now renamed the Eastmarch, and the Westmarch officially parts of the Shire.
The Bucklanders are unlike other hobbits as they are prepared for danger and are thus less naive than the Shire-hobbits. They close the Hay Gate and their own front doors at night and are prepared to rush to arms when the Horn of Buckland is blown. Most Bucklanders were originally of Stoor stock, and they were the only Hobbits known to use boats.
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