A House, variously known as a Shack, Cottage, Hut, Cabin and Shanty, was a place usually built by men, elves, dwarves and orcs, to use as a dwelling place for them. Some houses were hideouts to bandits and marauders, while others were not built for dwelling, but for other uses such as farming.

The Term could also be used to denote a specific Household, Clan or Noble Family, see:

Adanic Architecture

Daen Architecture


Fishermen's Houses in Lond Galen


Mountaineer's Village in the Ered Nimrais

The Daen-peoples originally built simple buildings, small Stone-Houses thatched with straws or reeds for the most part, later they developed, inspired by their contacts to the Númenóreans more complex buildings without ever leaving behind their original traditions. The Dunmen of southern Eriador and the Men of the white Mountains were the most conservative factions, the Dunmen kept building their traditional oval- or roundhouses and low circular towers, while both tribes also built more conventional wooden- and framework buildings with square or rectangular outlines.

Dorwinian Architecture


Houses in Szrel-Kain


Dorwinian Hall

Dorwinian Architecture shared many elements with both, early Easterling and Daen works and typical Northman Longhouses, but dorwinian Buildings often were more flat and squat, having two-or three levels and often porch-roofs based on wooden pillars.An obvious influence from the East were their skillful gables and ridged roofs which were often adorned with complex carvings.

Drûghu Architecture

Dwarven Architecture

Easterling Architecture


Easterling Hut


Easterling Hut interior

Elvish Architecture


Elvish Dwelling in Rivendell


Silvan Talan or Tree-Fort

The Wild Elves, the Nandor and Avari built simple but beautiful wooden-houses, often entangled in living plants or trees known as Galadhrynd or Elvish Glades.The most notable of these structures were the Telain, buildings on wooden platforms high in great trees although only the Mellyrn of Lórien grew tall enough for Telain of greater dimensions.The greater Telain structures could be interwoven Talmar or Tree-Forts.

The earliest,or most archaic, elven housetypes were slender cottages (indeed the early Edain had based their own early wooden housetypes on inspiration drawn from elven cottages) called "Mar" (S."Bar"), the term would also be applied to larger complexes of attached buildings (Elrond's house in Rivendell for example), or "Os(t)" which would later become a common term for military structures such as keeps and Castles, which at their earliest stage had been more or less reinforced and fortified settlements. The more sedentary Sindar, and some Nandor under their influence, developed these rather primitive housetypes into beautiful, long and usually one-storied huts (compare the raft-elven huts of Celebannon they called "adab".

The High-Elves and Sindar built long houses, preferring light or white stone or stucco, with high rooms and high roofs based on pointed archs.However the by far renowned architects among the Eldar were the Noldor.

The Noldor were master architects and engineers as well as artists, and because of their superior skill were able to overcome many of the mundane structural obstacles of building. As a result, designs were daring: balconies, cantilevers and wide spans were frequently used. Supports were slender and graceful. leaving space available for many large windows — and the glassworkers of Ost-in-Edhil had no equal elsewhere. Multipaned, stained glazes were used everywhere in elegant designs and patterns. Beautiful crystal lamps were everywhere at night, lighting the streets, the gardens, and the buildings with at warm glow. The cities had an extensive plumbing and sewage systems; virtually every building had running water and complete sanitary facilities. Many of their fortresses were designed as hill-forts.

A special housetype of the High-Elves was the Korin, any type of greater walled house, village or town would be considered an "opelë" (Q."Walled Dwelling") by the Tareldar.

Individual Houses:

Entish Architechture


Typical Enthouse

Ents did not build houses, instead they used natural features, high trees, caves, hills, meadows and Wells and engaged trees and other plants to grow into protective structures they called Enthouses.

Eriadorian Architecture


Eriadorian Lockhouse at Bree


Hermit's Cottage in Eryn Vorn


Commoners Houses in Cardolan


Arthadan Farmer's Hut


Rhudaurian Manor

Eriadorian Architecture was based on many influences, including Daen, Númenórean and Northron.The most typical Eriadorian building was the low, rectangular , reed- or slate-thatched cottage of half-timber framework and brown, reddish or white stonework and finery.

Giant's Architecture

Haradrim Architecture


Typical Haradron House


Large Haradron Mansion


Inner of a Tribal Conjurer's Cottage


Port on the Harad Coast


Wealthy Homes at Tûl Isra

Hobbitish Architecture

Lossoth Architecture

The Lossoth were known to built houses in the snow, not quite out of snow or ice-blocks (although this was possible in some of the coldest areas of the Forodwaith) but settled huts out of frameworks ,bone, leather and pelts.

Northman Architecture

The Northmen had, of all mannish cultures of the Westlands, perpetuated the ancient tradition of the Adanic wooden-halls for the longest time.Their most traditional housetype were large and relatively low Longhouses, the Gramuz built longhouses consisting of two interwoven hallways called Bidahus which they concentrated into larger settlements known asAlanbaurgs.The Medvo Hus or Medwe Husas of the Éothéod and Beornings where much higher and usually consited of one great hall with several smaller and lower rooms attached to it.In later times the Rohirrim, influenced by gondorian architecture, advanced into the building of far greater structures, often with several levels.The Lakemen built the most complex kind of northron-house, their long Lakehouses could incorporate homes of several families and could even, influenced by elvish telain, be interwoven into complex assemblies of many buildings interconnected by complex bridges and stairways consisting of multiple-floored structures and with high pyramidal broach roofs and slender towers.The Woodmen still built wooden halls of the most simple type but sometimes, inspired by the Silvan-Elves, built their small settlements upon Flets, high up in the mightiest trees of Mirkwood, however these Woodman Flet-houses still were nothing but northron longhouses built on high wooden platforms (See:Woodmen-Town).


Typical Northman-home


Rohirric Longhouse


Eastarave-Brickhouse in East-Angmar


Lake-man Longhouses at Esgaroth


Lakeman Guild-Halls at Esgaroth


Rhovanian Marketplace


Interior of a Northman Hall

Númenórean Architecture


Arnorian Guildhouse


Gondorian Farmstead


Noble Houses at Minas Ithil


Noble Estates in Dol Amroth


Royal Court at Minas Arnor


Smith's Guild at Minas Tirith


Númenórean Shrine

Orcish Architechture


Orcish Earthwork-Huts

Valarin Architecture

Further Examples

  • A Hunter's Hut
  • A Mage's Cabin
  • A Robber's Shack
  • A Farmhouse
  • A Storage House
  • An Abandoned Cottage
  • A Manor
  • A Fisher's Cottage
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