Tolkien Gateway


The Shirebourn is a lesser river of the Shire's Eastfarthing. Its source was in the uplands of the Green Hill Country, from where it flowed south and then southeast, where it matched the boundary with the Southfarthing. At Willowbottom, it met the Thistle Brook, and then flowed eastwards.

The Shirebourn flowed into the Brandywine beneath Deephallow, and at its mouth formed the boggy region known as the Overbourn Marshes, opposite the southern end of the High Hay.[1] Its outflow was the Mithe.[2]

[edit] Etymology

Shirebourn means "Bright-stream". The etymology must be Old English scïr "bright, clear, pure" + burna "stream".[3] Shirebourne is the Old English name of the Sherbourne river by Coventry, having the same etymology.[4]

Although the name has nothing to do with Shire, in most translations, it is translated "River of the Shire" instead.[source?]


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "A Part of the Shire" map
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, "Bombadil Goes Boating"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien; Christina Scull & Wayne G. Hammond (eds), The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, "Commentary"
  4. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. lix