British Folklore
Fairy Lore & Prehistoric Sites in Britain
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Wayland's Smithy

Wayland's Smithy

Welandes Smithe appears in a 10th century Anglo-Saxon charter.  Weland is a metal worker of unsurpassed skill in Anglo-Saxon poetry.  He forges beautiful swords with perfect workmanship.  He also was a rascal and worse in his Saxon story.  Thankfully the local people had better imaginations. Wayland is a helpful Fairy who resides at the Smithy and under particular conditions he will help human beings.

If a traveller's horse had lost a shoe upon the road, all he'd need to do was bring the horse and a piece of coin to the Smithy and wait awhile.  When he returned, he'd find the coin gone but the horse newly shod.

Another tale has Wayland with an Imp servant, whom he sent to fetch some nails.  He dawdled along the way, angering the Smith, who was piqued enough to throw a stone at him when he was about a mile away.  It struck the Imp in the heel who then sat down and cried and forever after the place became known as Snivelling Corner.  Unfortunately the standing stone that relates to this tale is no longer there, but the tale remains.

The story about Wayland continues, though.  He no longer inhabits the site - as the tale goes he was found out, discovered somehow.  Perhaps unmasked or made corporeal but in any case he was so angered he blew up the stones and flew away.