Project Title: Bree
Player name(s): Hearthseeker
Player rank: Overseer
Private or Public: Public - projects open for application
“There were also many families of hobbits in the Bree-land; and they claimed to be the oldest settlement of Hobbits in the world, one that was founded long before even the Brandywine was crossed and the Shire colonized. 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.”
- Hobbits were apparently primarily living on the ‘higher slopes of the hill’, however as its wording implies (the use of ‘especially’), there are also a small number living within the lower village as well. One or two small Hobbit smials will be included, perhaps slightly above the settlement of the Men, yet still being on the ‘lower’ portion of the layout.
“But in the Bree-land, at any rate, the hobbits were decent and prosperous, and no more rustic than most of their distant relatives Inside.“
- This shows us that the Hobbits should have a decent amount of wealth, not particularly poor or ‘rustic’. Their numbers and dwellings would be normally inhabited, not having any deserted smials.
“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. On that side, running in more than half a circle from the hill and back to it, there was a deep dike with a thick hedge on the inner side. Over this the Road crossed by a causeway; but where it pierced the hedge it was barred by a great gate. There was another gate in the southern corner where the Road ran out of the village. The gates were closed at nightfall; but just inside them were small lodges for the gatekeepers.”
- The quote mentions 100 stone houses of the Big Folk. When compared with the previous quote of Hobbits also dwelling on the lower slopes by the settlement of the Men, this shows us that those Hobbits wouldn’t have lived in houses, but also in smials at the foot/bottom of the hill. Another possible explanation would be for the ‘lower’ Hobbits to live in houses not built of stone, yet that seems less plausible in the context of the wider Bree.
- The dike is described as deep, not particularly wide, allowing us to reduce the overly big dike we have on the server now.
“Down on the Road, where it swept to the right to go round the foot of the hill, there was a large inn. It had been built long ago when the traffic on the roads had been far greater. For Bree stood at an old meeting of ways; another ancient road crossed the East Road just outside the dike at the western end of the village, and in former days Men and other folk of various sorts had travelled much on it. Strange as News from Bree was still a saying in the Eastfarthing, descending from those days, when news from North, South, and East could be heard in the inn, and when the Shire-hobbits used to go more often to hear it. But the Northern Lands had long been desolate, and the North Road was now seldom used: it was grass-grown, and the Bree-folk called it the Greenway.”
“The hobbits rode on up a gentle slope, passing a few detached houses, and drew up outside the inn. The houses looked large and strange to them. Sam stared up at the inn with its three storeys and many windows, and felt his heart sink. He had imagined himself meeting giants taller than trees, and other creatures even more terrifying, some time or other in the course of his journey; but at the moment he was finding his first sight of Men and their tall houses quite enough, indeed too much for the dark end of a tiring day.”
- Self explanatory, but in context to the wider Bree, passing detached houses would imply near the epicentre of the village further up the road the houses are mostly attached. This of course further backs up our layout as having gardens and allotments mostly near the west and easing into a more populous urban environment south-east.
“‘It seemed to make off up the Road, eastward,’ continued Merry. ‘I tried to follow. Of course, it vanished almost at once; but I went round the corner and on as far as the last house on the Road.’”
“‘I found him, sir,’ put in Nob. ‘Mr. Butterbur sent me out with a lantern. I went down to West-gate, and then back up towards South-gate. Just nigh Bill Ferny’s house I thought I could see something in the Road.”
“The hobbits took no notice of the inquisitive heads that peeped out of doors, or popped over walls and fences, as they passed. But as they drew near to the further gate, Frodo saw a dark ill-kept house behind a thick hedge: the last house in the village. In one of the windows he caught a glimpse of a sallow face with sly, slanting eyes; but it vanished at once. ‘So that’s where that southerner is hiding!’ he thought. ‘He looks more than half like a goblin.’”
“Over the hedge another man was staring boldly. He had heavy black brows, and dark scornful eyes; his large mouth curled in a sneer. He was smoking a short black pipe. As they approached he took it out of his mouth and spat.”
“Tom will give you good advice, till this day is over (after that your own luck must go with you and guide you): four miles along the Road you’ll come upon a village, Bree under Bree-hill, with doors looking westward…”
“Sam stared up at the inn with its three storeys and many windows, and felt his heart sink.”
“Even from the outside the inn looked a pleasant house to familiar eyes. It 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. There was a wide arch leading to a courtyard between the two wings, and on the left under the arch there was a large doorway reached by a few broad steps. The door was open and light streamed out of it. Above the arch there was a lamp, and beneath it swung a large signboard: a fat white pony reared up on its hind legs. Over the door was painted in white letters: the prancing pony by barliman butterbur. Many of the lower windows showed lights behind thick curtains.”
“But we’ve got a room or two in the north wing that were made special for hobbits, when this place was built. On the ground floor as they usually prefer; round windows and all as they like it. “
“He led them a short way down a passage, and opened a door. ‘Here is a nice little parlour!’ he said. ‘I hope it will suit. “
“If you want anything, ring the hand-bell, and Nob will come. If he don’t come, ring and shout!’”
“They found themselves in a small and cosy room. There was a bit of bright fire burning on the hearth, and in front of it were some low and comfortable chairs. There was a round table, already spread with a white cloth, and on it was a large hand-bell. But Nob, the hobbit servant, came bustling in long before they thought of ringing. He brought candles and a tray full of plates.”
“In a twinkling the table was laid. There was hot soup, cold meats, a blackberry tart, new loaves, slabs of butter, and half a ripe cheese…”
“The company was in the big common-room of the inn. The gathering was large and mixed, as Frodo discovered, when his eyes got used to the light. This came chiefly from a blazing log-fire, for the three lamps hanging from the beams were dim, and half veiled in smoke.”
“On the benches were various folk: men of Bree, a collection of local hobbits (sitting chattering together), a few more dwarves, and other vague figures difficult to make out away in the shadows and corners.”
“Frodo jumped up and stood on a table, and began to talk.”
“It was not until they had puffed up the embers into a blaze and thrown on a couple of faggots that they discovered Strider had come with them. There he was calmly sitting in a chair by the door!”
“Mr. Butterbur had arrived with candles, and behind him was Nob with cans of hot water. Strider withdrew into a dark corner. ‘I’ve come to bid you good night,’ said the landlord, putting the candles on the table. ‘Nob! Take the water to the rooms!’ He came in and shut the door”
“‘Where was I?’ said the landlord, pausing and snapping his fingers. ‘Ah, yes! Old Gandalf. Three months back he walked right into my room without a knock.”
“It was on Monday, and all the dogs were yammering and the geese screaming. Uncanny, I called it. Nob, he came and told me that two black men were at the door asking for a hobbit called Baggins.”
“‘Stay here, and do not go to your rooms! They are sure to have found out which those are. The hobbit-rooms have windows looking north and close to the ground. We will all remain together and bar this window and the door. But first Nob and I will fetch your luggage.’”
“Their bags and gear they piled on the parlour-floor. They pushed a low chair against the door and shut the window. Peering out, Frodo saw that the night was still clear. The Sickle* was swinging bright above the shoulders of Bree-hill. He then closed and barred the heavy inside shutters and drew the curtains together. Strider built up the fire and blew out all the candles.”
“He opened his eyes, and heard a cock crowing lustily in the inn-yard. Strider had drawn the curtains and pushed back the shutters with a clang. The first grey light of day was in the room, and a cold air was coming through the open window.”
“But very soon he came back in dismay. The ponies had vanished! The stable-doors had all been opened in the night, and they were gone: not only Merry’s ponies, but every other horse and beast in the place.”
“‘The two or three riding-ponies that there were in Bree were stabled in my yard, and they’re gone.”
“At last they came to The Prancing Pony, and that at least looked outwardly unchanged; and there were lights behind the red curtains in the lower windows.”
Professions and production:
There is an in game representation of the 2nd Townhouse figure, please feel free to view the floorplans and details closely as I will be referencing them often and will make requests of builders to make certain rooms.
These mini models will showcase how our Bree-houses evolved to what they are now. They are located at the guide.