Wayland’s Smithy

Wayland's Smithy

Situated near Uffington Castle at Ashbury in the English county of Oxfordshire; Wayland’s Smithy is a Neolithic long barrow and chamber tomb site.

Roots

Wayland’s Smithy is associated with Wayland, a Germanic smith-god and once believed to be the habitation of the Saxon smith-god Wayland.

Found

Excavated in 1962-3

Name

Surprisingly, the site got its name roughly 4,000 years later to its construction, when Saxons came to settle in here and imagined that there gods must have built this site.

You may Know

The first documented use of the name was in 955 AD, in a Saxon charter of King Edred.

Purpose

Excavations of 20th century say that it was used to be the burial mound to the local Chieftains, covering an earlier burial structure. Human remains found on the site indicate that 14 people were interred there between 3590 and 3550BC.

Excavators

Stuart Piggott and Richard Atkinson.

Built

The site is believed to be built in two phases.

In First Phase, (3590-3550 BC), a wooden mortuary chamber was built.

In Second Phase, (3460-3400 BC), a stone-chambered long barrow was built.

Myth

A very interesting myth says that a traveler whose horse has lost a shoe can leave the animal and a silver coin on the capstone at Wayland’s Smithy. When he returns next morning he will find that his horse has been re-shod and the money gone.

Rank

It secures 117th position out of 175 attractions in Oxfordshire.

What’s Best???

The most striking feature of Wayland’s Smithy is the 4 great sarsens that stand either side of the entrance, giving the structure a superficial resemblance to the West-Kennet long barrow.

Sarsens

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