Tolkien and Bag End farm

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Postby Almacundo/*Auirandos » Thu Sep 06, 2001 12:41 pm

JRRT took the name for Bilbo's and Frodo's home from the farm where his aunt lived near Dormston. Click on this link, then on Dormston, and you will find an 1892 Ordnance Map of the Dormston area with Bagend Farm clearly shown.<BR><BR><a target=new href="http://www.old-maps.co.uk/gazetteer/10worcs391/10worcs391gazD.htm">http://www.old-maps.co.uk/gazetteer/10worcs391/10worcs391gazD.htm</a>
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Postby Armageddon » Thu Sep 06, 2001 1:51 pm

wow...thats....interesting....i think
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Postby SamwiseGamgee102 » Thu Sep 06, 2001 2:54 pm

actually yes it is pretty interesting
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Postby SamwiseGamgee102 » Thu Sep 06, 2001 2:57 pm

hey, you entered an e-mail html code instead of a link code...i guess
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Postby Eluchil » Thu Sep 06, 2001 3:39 pm

The link has been fixed. You need to be careful about that A/A , use {l} instead of {e} (with [] for {}) to get a link to a web site.
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Postby Almacundo/*Auirandos » Fri Sep 07, 2001 10:29 am

Sorry about using the wrong link! I was in a rush and didn't pay sufficient attention to what I was doing.<BR><BR>I thought that it was interesting. I intend to ILL the Worcestershire volume of the English Place Name society series. It will be interesting to see if the Farm appears in it and what it says about the name. We know that JRRT believed that it was a calque on <i>cul de sac</i>, but that could be a folk etymology and the opinion of the toponymic experts might be different.
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Postby Almacundo/*Auirandos » Tue Oct 16, 2001 8:26 am

The following information comes from a letter I got from Stuart Jones, resident of Dormston (The Shrubbery, Cockshot Lane) on Saturday:<BR><BR>"...Bag-End is now known by the name of Dormston Manor [doesn't that sound pretentious to you?], it is a very nice red brick and timbered house set in a country location with several hundred acres of land. A Mr Hall-Jones currently owns the house and the land is rented out to a local farmer who uses it to grow wheat and other crops.<BR><BR>Mr Hall-Jones is a legal Barrister based in London, and Dormston Manor is his country residence. The family has owned the property since the 1950s when it was purchased by Anthony Hall-Jones, the currant [sic] occupants [sic] father. Previous owners of Bag-End were Mr & Mrs Chapman and a Miss [sic] Neive [sic--Neave, Tolkien's widowed aunt]."<BR><BR>I found Dormston Manor on a O. S. map through MultiMap on the Web, and the address of Anthony Hall-Jones in London [same name as his father?--I also found a record of a William Hall-Jones of Dormston Manor who attended Spanish language school in Costa Rica. His son?]. I just mailed a letter to London asking for the history of Dormston Manor aka Bag-End and a recent photo of the house. I'll let you know if I get a reply.
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Postby Almacundo/*Auirandos » Tue Oct 30, 2001 1:52 pm

I hope to have more info on the Farm to post here soon. BYI, the buildings are 17th C. I found reference to Dormston and Inkberrow in the Worcestershire Domesday and in a book about Worcestershire Anglo-Saxon charters. The latter has interesting maps, which I will try to scan and ask Jon/Ted/David to place in this thread. It also has a description of the bounds in OE and in translation. It includes an "Eomer's meadow"!
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Postby BillBo » Wed Oct 31, 2001 9:45 am

You can find Dormston Manor (Bagend Farm as was) on a modern map at <a target=new href="http://www.streetmap.co.uk/streetmap.dll?grid2map?x=399500&y=257500&zoom=3&isp=200&ism=1000&arrow=y?4,138">http://www.streetmap.co.uk/streetmap.dll?grid2map?x=399500&y=257500&zoom=3&isp=200&ism=1000&arrow=y?4,138</a><BR>It's surrounded by names that remind me of The Shire: Hill Farm for The Hill, The Bourne for Shirebourne, several places named Stock and several places with the name Berrows for Burrows.
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Postby Almacundo/*Auirandos » Thu Nov 01, 2001 12:05 pm

From a possibly authentic charter of 972 restoring lands to Pershore Abbey, by Edgar the King.<BR><BR>Boundry clause of <i>Fleferth</i> (=Dormston < Deormodesealdtune "Deormod's old farmstead"):<BR><BR>From the old slade to the Winterbourne, from the bourne to the swine hedge, along the hedge to Eomaer's meadow [1731/2-Omber's meadow], from the meadow to Hod's oak-tree [near the modern Hollow Court Farm], from the oak-tree along the hedge to the way [portion of the boundry closest to the Bag-End Farm], along the way to the Winterbourne, along the bourne to Herefrith's meadow, thence into the watercourse, from the watercourse to the coomb [modern field-names Cumb Meadow and Upper Cumb], from the coomb to the old dyke [Deorhelm's dyke], along the dyke into the Piddle, along the Piddle to the broad water-meadow, around the broad water-meadow again into the Piddle, along the Piddle back to the slade.<BR><BR><i>Fleferth</i> was name of an extensive wooded region in central Worcestershire which also included the estates of Flyford Flavell, Grafton Flyford, and Kingston. the name seems indeed to have been a district name which was applied to a wide area alongside the Piddle Brook. Its derivation from the Old English <i>fyrhth</i> meaning 'wooded countryside' suggests that woodland had once been abundant.... A number of villages in the area were relatively unsuccessful in medieval and later times for desertion occurred at Grafton Flyford, Kingston, and Naunton Sheriff. In 1086 there was a sunstantial population at Dormston consisting of 16 recorded households and an addition 7 slaves living on 5 mansus . Depopulation, however occurred in medieval times and village earthworks lie to the east of the church of St. Nicholas, which retains its 15th-century timber-framed tower. At all these places earthworks of abandoned tofts and house platforms can still be seen. Two 17th-century farms of note survive, both of timber-frame construction with dovecotes. Remains of a moat are still visible to the north of Moat Farm, where there is a timbered dovecote, and to the east <i>Dormston Manor</i>, formerly known as <b>Bag End Farm</b>, is a picturesque building with close studding and two dovecotes.<BR><BR>The End may have refered to its location near the parish boundry and the Bag may derive from an Old English personal name, <i>Bagga</i>, therefore Bag End.<BR><BR>More later.
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Postby Almacundo/*Auirandos » Fri Nov 02, 2001 9:40 am

And now for the Domesday Book entry (1086):<BR><BR>St. Peter's Church, Westminster. [King Edward endowed many properties originally granted to Pershore Abbey to his new foundation at Westminster]<BR><BR>William, son of Corbucion holds DORMSTON. Waland held it in the time of King Edward. 5 hides [a unit of land measurement consisting of 4 virgates, generally reckoned at 120 acres, but often different in practice; a measure of tax liability, often differing in number from the hides actually cultivated.] In lordship 2 ploughs;<BR><BR>2 villagers and 14 smallholders with 3 ploughs. 6 male slaves, 1 female. <BR><BR>Meadow, 3 acres; woodland 1/2 league long and 3 furlongs wide.<BR><BR>Albert holdes 2 hides from William. He has one plough and 1 villager with 1/2 plough. 2 slaves.<BR><BR>The said Waland reaped his lord's meadows and performed every service that he was ordered.<BR><BR>Value 4 pounds, 10 shillings.
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Postby Almacundo/*Auirandos » Thu Feb 07, 2002 1:48 pm

A bump for becoming a Ranger!
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Postby Almacundo/*Auirandos » Thu Jul 18, 2002 11:57 am

In recognition of my 2000th post, I am bumping some of the threads that I intiated that are neglected or perhaps of interest to novices.<BR><BR>Thanks for a being such great people on a wonderful MB.
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Postby Almacundo/*Auirandos » Thu Nov 21, 2002 12:23 pm

A trimillenial bump.
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Postby Almatolmen » Sun May 11, 2003 10:41 am

William FitzCorbucion, who was the tenant of Westminster for Dormston, held other lands in Bedfordshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, as well as Worcestershire.<BR><BR>Here are his properties in Warwickshire:<BR><BR>William FitzCorbucion: Amington, Ardens Grafton, Barcheston, Binton (3.5 Mills), Exhall, Kineton, Salford Priors, Green, Mapeborough, Marston Green, Studley, Wishaw. <BR><BR><BR><BR>
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Postby Almatolmen » Tue May 13, 2003 10:25 am

A bump.<BR><BR>After the last post, this thread did not appear in eith Today's Active Topics, or Last 24 Hours.
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Postby Almatolmen » Thu Jul 24, 2003 9:48 am

A quadrimillenial bump.
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Postby Elmtree » Tue Jul 29, 2003 3:41 pm

These bumped threads are fascinating. I did not see them first time round, as I only visit this forum on occasion.<BR><BR>But they do make my head spin! (especially the geneology ones!)<BR><BR>A/A, why does your "date joined" say '03? you've been 'round far longer.
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Postby Almatolmen » Fri Aug 01, 2003 9:18 am

I changed my username from Almacundo/*Auirandos to Almatolmen about that time. When Jonathan transferred my post count from one to the other, it may have had the effect of initializing the A/*A account from that point.<BR><BR>And I'm glad you enjoyed my 'bumps'. I prefer to do that rather than start a self-congratulatory thread. Though if I make it to 5000, I may call that milestone to the MB's attention! You're 'missing' them the first time around is exactly why I like to bump some of my more esoteric threads from time to time--also for new posters who weren't there to see them and who don't browse through the Forums for old threads.
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Postby Almatolmen » Wed Oct 15, 2003 11:53 am

Another Bag End in Herefordshire!<BR><BR><a href='http://www.smr.herefordshire.gov.uk/hfn/db.php?field_name=bag+end&fnop=and&field_name2=&s=Start+search&parish%5B%5D=ALL&kname%5B%5D=ALL&sortby=parish&sortorder=ASC' target=_blank>http://www.smr.herefordshire.gov.uk/hfn/db.php?field_name=bag+end&fnop=and&field_name2=&s=Start+search&parish%5B%5D=ALL&kname%5B%5D=ALL&sortby=parish&sortorder=ASC</a>
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Postby Prince_of_the_Halflings » Sun Oct 19, 2003 11:51 pm

A little more on the relationship between Bag End and the expression <i>cul de sac</i>. "Cul de sac", which literally means "bottom of the bag", refers to a "dead end" that is, a road that goes no further. Although <i>cul de sac</i> seems to be a French expression, the French actually call such things an "impasse", and would look at you strangely if you called a street a "cul de sac". It appears that "Bag End" is actually an old English expression for a "dead end". After the (successful) Norman invasion of England in 1066 the Normans regarded the old English language as vulgar and attempted to supress or replace many old English words and phrases. Hence, the French-sounding (but not really French) "cul de sac" was coined to replace the (supposedly vulgar) "bag end". The Norman Invaders' attempt to reform the English language was obviously successful as we now call such things "cul de sacs" and the meaning of "bag end" is now obscure.<BR><BR>Tolkien's own description of Bag End farm: "It was the local name for my aunt's farm in Worcestershire, which was at the end of a lane leading to it and no further"<BR><BR>I only harp on the point because there are loads of definitions saying that "cul de sac" is French for dead end (it isn't) and/or that "bag end" is a "translation" of "cul de sac" when the truth is the exact opposite. See <A TARGET="_blank" HREF="http://209.157.64.200/focus/f-news/961606/posts">http://209.157.64.200/focus/f-news/961606/posts</A> for example of the sort of thing I'm talking about.<BR><BR>Clearly Tolkien was joking when he gave Bilbo's awful relatives the name Sackville-Baggins!
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Postby jallan » Sun Oct 26, 2003 10:15 am

My French dictionary lists <i>cul-de-sac</i>.<BR><BR>Also, searching on <i>cul-de-sac</i> in Google with preferences set for only French language pages produced about 32,000 hits, mostly with the spelling <i>cul de sac</i> without hyphens but also occasionally as <i>culdesac</i>. A search on <i>impasse</i> produced only 28,800 hits.<BR><BR>My understanding is that <i>impasse</i> is now the more normal word for a dead end street and that <i>cul-de-sac</i> has picked up vulgar sexual connotations. But it is a true French expression.<BR><BR>However it is very common in English. Setting Google to find English pages produced approximately 23,800 hits.
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Postby Prince_of_the_Halflings » Sun Oct 26, 2003 4:40 pm

"Cul de sac" certainly does sound vulgar! <BR><BR>As for the usage of "cul de sac" I was relying on the scholarship of the esteemed Professor Shippey - obviously his knowledge of French is not as good as it should be. <BR><BR>Given that we know that Tolkien didn't make "Bag End" up - the question still remains - is "Bag End" a native English expression or an attempt to anglicise "cul de sac"? Both expressions clearly have the same approximate meaning. Yet another question we'll never be able to pose to Tolkien...
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Photos of Bag End (the inspiration for Hobbiton)

Postby MartyBoy » Thu Jul 15, 2004 11:53 pm

You can see some photos of the real Bag End, where Tolkien stayed in 1923, and which provided some of the the inspiration for Hobbiton, here:

http://mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/hea ... rmston.htm
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Re: Photos of Bag End (the inspiration for Hobbiton)

Postby Tinsel_the_Elf » Tue Jul 20, 2004 9:07 pm

MartyBoy wrote:You can see some photos of the real Bag End, where Tolkien stayed in 1923, and which provided some of the the inspiration for Hobbiton, here:

http://mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/hea ... rmston.htm



Very Interesting! I can see the Shire in them. :)

Thank you for posting!
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Postby Almatolmen » Wed Jul 21, 2004 10:00 am

Thank you, MartyBoy. That's wonderful link with impressive photos.
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Postby John_Ronald_Reuel » Thu Mar 24, 2005 6:49 am

ah...well...aha
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Update

Postby Almatolmen » Fri Sep 14, 2012 12:22 am

Since this thread was last active a slim (61 pp) , but very interesting book was published in 2009 by Brewin Books. It's title isTolkien's Bag End, by Andrew H. Morton. It has just about everything you'd want to know about the inspiration for the Baggins' homestead, including a discussion of the possible source for the name.
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