A City-State of Men on the southern slopes of Erebor ruled by an hereditary King. It was founded in the mid Third Age by men spreading up the River Running. Wide fertile town-lands extended to the south and east and a road from the Front Gate of Erebor passed through the town, crossing a bridge on its way to Ravenhill.

The inhabitants of Dale were descended from Edain of the First Age. They were skilled in trade and negotiation and formed a special relationship with the dwarves of Erebor under Thror, exchanging provisions for the dwarves’ building and engineering skills. They also understood the speech of birds. Lads from Dale were apprenticed to the Dwarves and the toy-market of Dale became the wonder of the north.

Dale was destroyed in TA 2770 of when the dragon Smaug attacked Erebor and its surroundings, driving out both Dwarves and Men and gathering their treasures into a hoard within the mountain. Girion, King of Dale was killed but his wife and children fled with other inhabitants, down river to Esgaroth.

At the time of the Quest of Erebor Dale still lay in ruins and the once wooded and fertile town-lands formed part of a barren wilderness known as the Desolation of Smaug.

Smaug was killed in TA 2941 by Bard the Bowman, a descendant of Girion of Dale and after the Battle of Five Armies Bard was declared King and began a program of restoration.

Rebuilt and repopulated, and with its treasures restored Dale soon prospered and its fertile reclaimed lands extended far and wide.

During the War of the Ring, Easterlings attacked Dale, forcing the inhabitants to flee to sanctuary in Erebor, but after the defeat of Sauron Dale was again restored and allied with the Reunited Kingdom of the Dunedain. The city re-established its links with Erebor and again prospered well into the Fourth Age and probably beyond.

NOTE: Additional information by Cirdaneth.
Encyclopedia entry originally written by Ainulindale