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Built by the Gondorians in the early days of their land, probably before the end of the Second Age; known as the Súthburg between about III 2510 and III 27591
Guarding the entrance to Helm's Deep in the northern White Mountains
soo'thburg (where th is pronounced as in modern English 'south')
'Southern fortress'
Other names
Later called the Hornburg or simply the Burg


About this entry:

  • Updated 27 June 2022
  • This entry is complete


The fortress later known as the Hornburg

Map of the Súthburg
The Súthburg in the northern White Mountains (somewhat conjectural)2
The Súthburg in the northern White Mountains (somewhat conjectural)2

In the earliest days of Gondor, its people had built a great fortress to defend Aglarond in the northern White Mountains. When, long afterwards, that land was ceded to the Rohirrim, they came into possession of that ancient stronghold, and gave it a name in their own language: Súthburg, apparently meaning 'southern fortress'.

In the days of Helm, Dunlendings overran Rohan, and the Rohirrim took refuge at the Súthburg and in the Deep behind. King Helm would sound his great horn before setting out against his enemies, and a legend grew up connecting the castle with Helm's horn. From that time the old name of Súthburg was forgotten, and the fortress acquired its more familiar name: the Hornburg.



III 2510 was the year the Rohirrim settled in Rohan, and III 2759 was the year of the death of King Helm, whose great horn gave the tower its better known name of the Hornburg. Both these dates are necessarily approximate: it may have taken years or decades for the new names to become established in each case. The dates shown on the timeline relate to the period this castle was known as the Súthburg; it had been built long before the Rohirrim gave it that name, and would continue to stand into the Fourth Age.


Though the general geography around the Súthburg is well established, certain elements of this map are necessarily speculative. We know, for example, that the Deeping-stream flowed out of Helm's Deep, but we don't know its course after it left the Deeping-coomb. It is presumed here to have flowed into the nearby river Isen, rather than the much more distant Entwash. Similarly, the township of Grimslade was known to lie within the Westfold, but its precise location is not known.

See also...

The Burg, White Mountains


About this entry:

  • Updated 27 June 2022
  • This entry is complete

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