Tol Eressëa, known also as the Lonely Isle, was a large island located off the eastern coast of Aman.[4]


Tol Eressëa was originally an island that stood in the middle of the Belegaer far from either the coasts of Aman or Middle-earth. Ulmo uprooted it and with the help of his servants used it as a ferry to transport the willing three kindreds of the Elves back and forth twice from Middle-earth to Aman. After that, the host of Olwë remembering the star-light of their home in eastern Middle-earth begged to the Maia Ossë to stay their journey. Their request was granted at the behest of Ulmo. Ossë rooted it permanently to the bottom of the sea, and never moved again afterwards. The isle came to rest forever just off the eastern shore of Aman in the Bay of Eldamar, and the Teleri dwelt there ever after. This long separation from the Vanyar and the Ñoldor caused the Telerin language to sunder from Quenya of the other Calaquendi. So that the Teleri could see the light of Valinor, the Valar opened a cleft in the Pelori so that the light of the Two Trees shone upon it, making its western shores green and fertile. Many Teleri lived here until their lord Olwë built the city Alqualondë on the northwestern shore of Aman.[2]

800px-Frédéric Bennett - Haven of the Eldar

Tol Eressëa - by Frédéric Bennett

With the end of the First Age, many of the Eldar of Middle-earth exiles came to it, and lived on the island of Tol Eressëa. Sometime during the early Second Age, the Elves that chose to settle there built Avallonë in the eastern part of the island. It was also where most of the elves visiting Númenór came from at least until the shadow fell upon the Númenóreans. The Númenóreans yearning for the light of the west would often gaze at the great tower of Avallonë, which they could see from the westernmost parts of their homeland. When Ar-Pharazôn the Golden broke the Ban of the Valar and sailed to the Undying Lands with his Great Armament, Tol Eressëa was surrounded by its fleets before going to Tirion, but it is not known whether its people were assailed by this act or not.[5]

Earlier versions of the legendarium

In early versions of Tolkien's legendarium, the island was later visited by Ælfwine (or Eriol), an Englishman from the Middle Ages, which provided a framework for the tales that later became The Silmarillion. Over time it had become a land of many beautiful places and interesting sites such as: Alalminórë, the Land of Elms, and Tavrobel.[6] Along with Ulmo, host of whales centering the great whale Uin were also in charge to carry the island to the Bay of Eldamar.

The Cottage of Lost Play, which Eriol visited, was one of the more famous spots in Tol Eressëa at which many stories were told (the stories that became the Lost Tales) of ancient times.

At different eras of development of his mythology Tolkien either saw Tol Eressëa as the island of Britain, or as the island of Avalon, off the coast of Britain beyond the Straight Path near Valinor.[7] In some of the later writings and letters he began to see the Shire and Rivendell to be closer to England geographically. Some of the ideas of Avalon (and Arthurian legend) that had been associated with the island can also be seen in the name of the city Avallonë. Tolkien even echoed this in a letter when he stated he had given Frodo and Bilbo an "Arthurian ending".

But when Morgoth was thrust forth, the Gods held council. The Elves were summoned to return into the West, and such as obeyed dwelt again in Eressëa, the Lonely Island, which was renamed Avallon: for it is hard by Valinor.[7]

Notable dwellings


Foreign Language Translated name
Amharic ጦል ዐረስሰኣ
Arabic تول اريسسيّا
Armenian Տոլ Երեսսեա
Belarusian Cyrillic Тол Ерессеа
Bengali টল এরেস্সেঅ
Bulgarian Cyrillic Тол Ересеа
Chinese (Hong Kong) 伊瑞西亞島
Georgian ტოლ ერესეა
Greek Τολ Ερεσσεα
Gujarati ટોલ ઍરેસ્સેઅ
Hebrew טול ארסיאה
Hindi टोल एरेस्सेअ
Japanese トル・エレッセア
Kannada ಟಾಲ್ ಎರೆಸಿಯಾ
Kazakh Тол Ерессеа (Cyrillic) Tol Eressea (Latin)
Korean 톨 에렛세아
Kyrgyz Cyrillic Тол Эрэссэа
Laotian ຖໂລ ແຣເຊຊເະ
Macedonian Cyrillic Тол Ерессеа
Marathi टॉल एरेससी
Mongolian Cyrillic Тол Ерессёа
Nepalese टोल एरेस्सेअ
Pashto طول ېرېسسېا
Persian تول ارسئا
Punjabi ਟੋਲ ਐਰਸੇਸੀ
Russian Тол-Эрессеа
Sanskrit टोल् एरेस्सेअ
Serbian Тол Ерессеа (Cyrillic) Tol Eressea (Latin)
Sinhalese ටොල් ඒරෙස්සෙඅ
Tajik Cyrillic Тол Ерессеа
Tamil டொல் ஏரெஷெஅ
Telugu టొల ఏరెస్సెఅ
Thai ฏโล แรเซซเะ
Ukrainian Cyrillic Тол — Ересеа
Urdu طول ےرےسسےا ?
Uzbek Тол Эрессеа (Cyrillic) Tol Eressea (Latin)
Yiddish טאָל ערעססעאַ
Places in Aman
Regions of the Valar
Woods of OromëPastures of YavannaHalls of MandosHalls of NiennaGardens of LòrienWells of VardaHouse of TulkasMáhanaxarTwo Trees of Valinor
Other Regions
ValinorEldamarTol EressëaUndying LandsAlalminórëEnchanted IslesAramanAvatharPlain of ValinorHaerastOiomurë
Mountains and Passes
PelóriTúnaTaniquetilCalaciryaHyarmentirCaves of the Forgotten
Bodies of Water
Bay of EldamarLórellinShadowy SeasHíriSirnúmen
City and Fortifications
Other Places
Cottage of Lost PlayMindon EldaliévaGalathilionHouse of the Hundred ChimneysTower of AvallónëTower of TavrobelIlmarinBridge of TavrobelEzellohar


  1. The Atlas of Middle-earth, The First Age, The Elder Days, "Valinor"
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter V: "Of Eldamar and the Princes of the Eldalië"
  3. The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter III: "Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor"
  4. The Atlas of Middle-earth, The First Age, The Elder Days, "Valinor"
  5. The Silmarillion, Akallabêth (The Downfall of Númenor)
  6. The History of Middle-earth, Vol. I: The Book of Lost Tales Part One
  7. 7.0 7.1 Tolkien, J.R.R.. The Fall of Arthur (p. 151).
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