"In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole and that meant comfort."
Description of a Hobbit-hole[1]

Hobbit-holes, otherwise called Smials, were the preferred dwellings of Hobbits in the Shire, the ancient mortal race inhabiting Middle-earth.


They were holes dug into the hillside, usually have a minimum of one round window and front door and sometimes back door. It was the primarily wealthy families of Hobbits built Smials, spacious and luxurious tunnels, a souped-up version of a Hobbit-hole. Brandy Hall is an example of a Smial and had three front doors, many side-doors, and around one-hundred windows. Bag End, the home of Bilbo Baggins and later Sackville-Bagginses and then Sam Gamgee, could be called a Smial, as it was an expansive Hobbit-hole with many windows; a large circular green front and back door, and a large number of rooms; as well as the famously renowned pantries which supplied food for many a party or celebration.

On the other hand, the poor lived in basic burrows with perhaps only a single window. An example of this is Bagshot Row. The famous Took family lived in the Great Smials, their ancestral home, and many-tunneled mansion.

During the Scouring of the Shire, many Hobbit-holes were destroyed and replaced with wooden shacks, towards the end of the Third Age.[2]


  1. The Hobbit, An Unexpected Party
  2. The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, Book Six, Ch. VII: "The Scouring of the Shire"
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.