The White Downs in The Lord of the Rings Online.

The White Downs or The Downs[1] were a series of low hills which formed the western border of the Shire. The White Downs formed the west border of the Shire as a whole, and of the Westfarthing.[2]


The White Downs were the old border of the Shire as the lands were granted to the Hobbits by the King of Arnor, Argeleb II. In it were built the Hobbit towns of Little Delving and Michel Delving, which was the capital of the Shire and its largest city. Here, at the Free Fair held every seven years on Lithe, the Mayor of Michel Delving was elected.[3]

In the aftermath of the War of the Ring at the end of the Third Age, Sharkey's Men had turned Michel Delving into a prison, where many important Hobbits were held.[4] After the return of the King Aragorn II Elessar, the Shire was extended past the White Downs and the Far Downs beyond all the way to the Tower Hills, and the area beyond became known as the Westmarch.[5][2][6]


  1. Unfinished Tales, Part Three: The Third Age, III: "The Quest of Erebor"
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Atlas of Middle-earth, Regional Maps, "The Shire"
  3. The Lord of the Rings: Prologue
  4. The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, Book Six, Chapter VIII: "The Scouring of the Shire"
  5. The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B: The Tale of Years (Chronology of the Westlands), "Later Events concerning the Members of the Fellowship of the Ring"
  6. A Complete Dictionary of Tolkien's Works: under B"