Maps & Travels
Towns & Villages
Castles & Houses
Odds & Ends
Saxon God settles in Berkshire
- Wayland was the Anglo-Saxon
god of metalworking.
- There is a long
story about his early life in Scandinavia.
- English legend says he later settled on
the Ridgeway at Ashbury on the Berkshire Downs.
- He lived at 'Wayland's
Smithy'. A smithy is a metalworker's workshop. This was a prehistoric
burial mound with stone rooms.
- If your horse loses a shoe while riding
along the Ridgeway, tradition says you should leave it at Wayland's
Smithy with a silver sixpence and go for a walk. When you return,
Wayland will have reshod your horse for you.
- Wayland had an imp as an assistant. Once
he ran low on horse shoe nails. So he sent him into the Vale of the White
Horse to get some more.
- Wayland saw the imp dawdling in the
valley and threw a huge stone at him to hurry him up. It caught the
imp on his heal and he sat down and cried. The stone has gone but the
place is still called 'Snivellings Corner'.
- It is said that Wayland has a very
important horse to shoe every hundred years. For the Uffington
White Horse magically gets down from the hillside and goes to find
- Tradition says Wayland was seen in a pub
in Woolstone once but had to rush out when he heard a horn and the
White Horse's hooves thundering over to his smithy.
- This is next due to happen sometime