Wayland's Smithy
Neolithic Chambered Long Barrow
East of Ashbury, Oxfordshire  OS Map Ref SU28098539
OS Maps - Landranger 174 (Newbury & Wantage), Explorer 170 (Abingdon, Wantage & Vale of White Horse)


Wayland's Smithy Chambered Long Barrow - Front View
Also known as Wayland Smith's Cave, this is a large chambered long barrow that stands within a couple of miles of Uffington Hillfort and the Uffington White Horse. It is recorded in a Berkshire charter as early as 855AD. 
The site originally started out during the Neolithic as a wooden mortuary structure with a stone floor surrounded by sarsen boulders and chalk which contained 14 bodies. Shortly after, sometime around 2800 BC, the large 55 metre long earth mound, sarsen kerb and outlying ditches were added. The south entrance of the tomb was blocked by 6 large sarsens, of which only 4 stones, each over 3 metres high remain. A 6 metre passage leads through an antechamber into a burial chamber that contained 8 bodies, including a child, although no grave goods were found. There are many legends attached to this site that centre around the Anglo-Saxon Weland, or in the Norse - Volund, that date back over a thousand years. This account was recorded in 1738 by the antiquary Francis Wise -

'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 new shod'.
Wayland's Smithy Chambered Long Barrow - Front And Side View
Front and side view showing some of the kerb stones running along the sides of the barrow
Wayland's Smithy Plan
Plan of Wayland's Smithy barrow
Wayland's Smithy Chamber
View of the chamber

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