Ancient Wessex News and Information
Ancient Wessex News and Information

Wayland’s Smithy Long Barrow

Waylands Smithy Entrance

Wayland’s Smithy is a Neolithic chambered long barrow, situated in a clump of beech trees, nr Ashbury in Oxfordshire. it was once believed to have been the home of Wayland, the Saxon god of metal working. An ancient legend says that Wayland would re-shoe any passing traveller’s horse left along with a silver penny beside the tomb.

Archaeologists have established that the monument was built by pastoralist communities shortly after the introduction of agriculture to Britain from continental Europe.

Wayland’s Smithy is along the same hill as the Uffington White Horse and Uffington Castle, while it is also close to The Ridgeway, an ancient road running along the Berkshire Downs

Human remains found on the site indicate that 14 people were interred in an earlier burial structure between 3590 and 3550 BC. Between 3460 and 3400 BC a second far larger barrow was constructed on top. It is the ruins of this that can be explored by visitors to the site today.