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The Carrock itself presumably dated back to antiquity, but its carved steps were probably about twenty years old at the time of the Quest of Erebor1
In the upper Anduin, north of the Old Ford
The house of Beorn lay some miles to the east


About this entry:

  • Updated 2 June 2014
  • Updates planned: 1


The rocky river-island named by Beorn

Map of the Carrock

A stony eyot in the upper reaches of the River Anduin, to the north of the Old Ford.



We're told that the steps on the Carrock were made by Beorn, so they must have been comparatively recent in III 2941, when Bilbo and his companions passed this way. Even at this point, however, the stone steps were well worn with use, so if they cannot have been ancient, they cannot have been very recent either. These factors point to a date perhaps twenty years or so before the time of the Quest of Erebor, in (very approximately) III 2921.


Beorn's name 'Carrock' is nowhere explained (and indeed conceivably it had no intended meaning whatsoever). However the element '-rock' points to at least a partial derivation from English, and the Old English carr also means 'rock', so perhaps this is simply a duplicative name combining Old English and modern English words for 'rock'. Variations on this word also appear in Celtic (it seems to have been borrowed from that language by the Anglo-Saxons) and it occurs occasionally in real place-names, perhaps most notably the Carracks, rocky islands off the coast of Cornwall.

An alternative derivation comes from Old Norse, which gives us carr meaning 'wetland, river', and thus 'Carrock' would mean simply 'river-rock', which would make sense given its location within the stream of Anduin.

Finally it should be mentioned that 'Carrock' occurs as a real place-name in northern England, an anglicisation of Celtic cairoc, 'fortress', but this seems unlikely as a source for Tolkien's choice of name.


About this entry:

  • Updated 2 June 2014
  • Updates planned: 1

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