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Wayland's Smithy

Long Barrow


Mr Aubrey's account of it is this. "About a mile [or less] from the Hill [White-Horse Hill] there are a great many large stones, which though very confused, must yet be laid there on purpose. Some of them are placed edgwise, but the rest are so disorderly, that one would imagine, they were tumbled out of a cart."

The disorder which Mr Aubrey speaks of, is occasioned, by the people having thrown down some of the stones (for they all seem originally to have been set on edge) and broken them to pieces to mend their highways. Those that are left, enclose a piece of ground of an irregular figure at present, but which formerly might have been an oblong square, extending duly North and South.

On the eastside of the Southern extremity, stand Three Squarish flat stones of about four or five feet over each way, set on edge, and supporting a Fourth of much larger dimensions, lying flat upon them. These altogether form a Cavern or sheltering place.

[...] All the account, which the country people are able to give of it, is "At this place lived formerly an invisible Smith; and if a traveller's Horse had lost a Shoe upon the road, he had no more to do, than to bring the Horse to this place, with a piece of money, and leaving both there for some little time, he might come again and find the money gone, but the Horse now shod." The stones standing upon the Rudge way as it is called; (which was the situation, that they chose for burial monuments) I suppose, gave occasion to the whole being called WAYLAND-SMITH; which is the name it was always known by to the country people.
From 'A letter to Dr Mead' by Francis Wise (1738).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
27th September 2016ce
Edited 27th September 2016ce

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