The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Hardwell Camp



How strange that this site, only a kilometre from both Uffington and Wayland's Smithy, has not been added before? Though it's not crossed by a footpath one runs close by. It's an Iron Age promontory fort - it uses mostly the natural contours of the land for protection, unlike most of the forts along the Ridgeway which have big man-made defences.
The neolithic long-barrow on the Berkshire Downs known as Weyland's Smithy is mentioned by that name in a tenth century land charter. Between White Horse Hill and Weyland's Smithy is a prehistoric earthwork now known as Hardwell Camp, but in the ninth century called Tilsburh, that is 'Til's Castle'. Til is the same person as Weyland's brother Egil the Archer (the prototype of William Tell). *

The names of Beadohild and Wittich which also occur in the bounds of local Saxon charters are thought to refer to the princess seduced by Weyland, and his son by her, and there are some other place-names less certainly identifed which could be fitted into the same story.
From: New Light on the White Horse, by Diana Woolner, in Folklore, Vol. 78, No. 2. (Summer, 1967), pp. 90-111.

*Is this a convincing argument or stretching the pronunciation? This article might be useful if you can find it: LV Grinsell's "Wayland's Smithy, Beahhild's Byrigels and Hwittuc's Hlaew" in Trans Newbury and District Field Club VIII, 1938-45, p136, which mentions Beahhild (?Beaduhild) and Hwittuc (?Widia) in local charters of Anglo-Saxon date.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
29th September 2006ce
Edited 29th September 2006ce

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