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Wayland's Smithy

Long Barrow


Norse (or Teutonic) Mythology

Wayland (alt: Weland, Volund, Vulcan et al) appears in various guises in various mythologies (even Ancient Greece!). In the Northern Mythology he and his brothers come into contact with the Valkyrs, beautiful ladies with swan plummage who can fly, only to lose them later. Wayland pursues his love with zeal and this causes him to be captured and enslaved. He is put to work creating weapons of magical power and during his capture suffers the loss of an eye and a cut achilles hill resulting in a lame leg.

I thoroughly recommend anyone interested in wayland smithy to read up on the Norse Mythology for the full story, it is truly a wonderful tale.

The Saxons have many mythological associations with the Norse tradition and you can see how the story of Wayland has been carried from Remote Scandinavia, through mainland Europe and with the arrival of the Anglo-Saxons, into England and then to leafy Oxfordshire.

Although the folklore relates to the Anglo-Saxon mythology of a Neolithic Long barrow (many thousands of years difference!), it is still an interesting aside.

Tied up with Wayland Smithy are a number of stones and barrows relating to the tale. Wittich's Hill, a barrow (Wittich was the son of Wayland) and Beaghild's burial place (a princess whom Wayland ravished), another barrow are but two in the local area.
wysefool Posted by wysefool
5th November 2003ce

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