The Withywindle was a lesser tributory of the River Brandywine (Baranduin) that flowed through the Barrow-downs and the Old Forest and passed into Buckland on the borders of The Shire. The Withywindle valley was said to be the source of all the strange happenings in the Old Forest. Tom Bombadil lived here in his house on top of a hill between the Barrow-downs and Old Forest.
Long ago in an unknown age, Tom met Goldberry, the River-daughter, in a pool down the Withywindle. He later brought her to his home north of the river and every summer would gather water-lilies for her along the river side. He was on his last trip of the year when he met Frodo Baggins and the rest of his company on September 26 TA 3018.
When Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin were passing through the valley of the Withywindle, they encountered Old Man Willow, an ancient tree who showed bitter hatred to all other living creatures in Middle-earth people and trees alike. The Hobbits were lulled to sleep under his spell all exept Frodo and Sam who regained consciousness in time to save Merry and Pippin who had been trapped inside the old willow's trunk. Tom Bombadil happened to be strolling along the river at the time and rescued them all by demanding that he let them go. He was the only person that could control the evil tree's temper.
It was about three miles in length and began at a waterfall that probably cut into the cliff at the edge of the Barrow-downs near the house of Tom Bombadil.
At the mouth of the Withywindle there was a haven in the north bank called Grindwall. The Grindwall was not under the protection of the High Hay (The Hedge) therefore it was guarded by a fence that was built extending into the waters shallows. There was a small village called Breredon on the other side of the Grindwall between the Brandywine and the High Hay.
The word withy means 'willow' (common element in English place-names) and windle meaning spindle or reel and is supposed to be translated from Hobbitish.
|Rivers of Arda|
Adorn | Adurant | Anduin | Aros | Ascar | Brandywine | Brilthor | Brithon | Bruinen | Celebrant | Celebros | Celon | Celos | Ciril | Duilwen | Enchanted river | Entwash | Erui | Esgalduin | Forest River | Gelion | Gilrain | Ginglith | Gladden | Glanduin | Glithui | Greater Gelion | Greyflood | Greylin | Gwathló | Harnen | Isen | Langwell | Lefnui | Legolin | Limlight | Little Gelion | Lune | Malduin | Mering Stream | Mindeb | Mitheithel | Morgulduin | Morthond | Narog | Nenning | Nimrodel | Nunduinë | Poros | Redwater | Ringló | Ringwil | River Running | Rivil | Sarn Gebir | Serni | Sirannon | Siril | Sirion | Sirith | Snowbourn | Taeglin | Thalos | The Water | Withywindle
- The Atlas of Middle-earth pgs. 122-23