Thursday, October 07, 2010
Wayland's Smithy is a Neolithic long barrow in Oxfordshire near the White Horse of Uffington. Wayland was supposedly a smith (blacksmith) Germanic god. Handy to have in the days of horses, presumably. I guess his modern equivalent would be a motor mechanic god!
Legend had it that if your horse lost its shoe and you left a silver coin at the site, in the morning your horse would be reshod. Presumably the franchise for that was passed down through the generations! With a renewed interest in things Druidical and whatnot over the last 150 years or so, apparently some people leave votive offerings there once more.
The day I visited Wayland's Smithy, a hot summers day in, I think, 1990, it was occupied by a group of layabouts drinking beer. It retained some of its magical feel, however. The whole area is said to be riddled with ley lines.