Related Terms: Brandywine, Farthings, Bucklebury, Hobbiton, Michel Delving

The Shire was originally a part of the kingdom of Arnor, and in the middle of the Third Age it was almost uninhabited. In TA 1601, King Argeleb of Arthedain gave the lands east of the Baranduin (Brandywine) River to the hobbits from Bree to settle in. These lands were 50 leagues north to south, and 40 leagues east to west.

The Shire initially consisted of the lands between the Brandywine and the Far Downs and was divided into four Farthings. Notable communities of the West Farthing included Hobbiton, Bywater and Michel Delving. The South Farthing included Sackville and Hardbottle, while the East Farthing included Buckland, and Bucklebury. The Brandywine River flowed through the East Farthing.

In TA 2340 the Shire was expanded in size when the Oldbucks settled in Buckland, between the eastern bank of the Brandywine and the Old Forest. It was again expanded in the year 30 of the Fourth Age when Aragorn gave Westmarch, the lands between the Far Downs and the Tower Hills, to the Shire.