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Shepe fiores a 4,5,6,7,8

footo.

9. a Cavo like that by Holy-hoad.

PLAN OF WAYLAND's SMITHY; FROM A

SKETCH

BY AUBREY

TAKEN ABOUT A.D. 1670.

called “Lugbury,” near Castle Combe; that at Lanhill near Chippenham;? and that called the “Giant's Caves," at Luckington. Two less distinctive examples, at Leighterton and Lasbury in Gloucestershire, are added, and then follows the brief description of “Wayland Smyth.” Aubrey's first acquaintance with this monument appears to have been derived from Elias Ashmole, the Berkshire historian and founder of the Ashmolean Museum. Aubrey's original notice of it is so vague as to be of little value, though sufficient to prove our point. It is as follows :

“ About a mile from White-Horse-hill (in Berkshire) on the top of the hill are a great many great stones, which were layed there on purpose; but as tumbled out of a cart: without any order; but some of them are placed edgewise: they are a good breadth ; and in length about **** yards.-From Elias Ashmole, Esq.

At a later period, Aubrey must have visited the spot himself, and made the ground plan, which, reduced from a sketch inserted in the Monumenta Britannica, is here figured for the first time, from a fac-simile, for the use of which we are obliged to the Rev. Canon Jackson. On this plan, Aubrey tells us that the “Sepulchre is 74 paces long, 24 broade,” and that the chamber or cave at the south end is “like that by Holy-head," meaning no doubt that of Y Lleche, which he had already described. He adds a note as to the size of

1 Within the last few years these two mounds have been excavated and the results published in the Wiltshire Archæol. Mag., vol. iii., pp. 67, 164.

2 Oblong stone barrows, having chambere, cists, or pillar-stones at one end, are common in the colitic district of Gloucestershire; where, as in the neighbouring part of Wiltshire, they are of course formed of blocks of oolite.' Such exist at Boxwell, Avening, Gatcombe and Duntesbourne Abbots, (Archæologia, vol, xvi., p. 361); and, as we write, one has been explored, by the Cotswold Club, at Nympsfield, very near that at Uley, referred to at p. 326. In this, likewise, the remains of double cruciform chambers have been found.

3 The notice of this " sepulchre" in the Monumenta Britannica is as follows:In Anglesey, about a mile from Holy-head, on a hill near the way that leads to Beaumaris are placed certain great rude stones much after the fashion of this draught here (in margin):

The cavity is about five foot; I remember a mountain beast (or two) were at shade within it.” Sir Timothy Littleton, one of the judges that went this circuit obtained a further account for Aubrey, from "a resident justice of the peace at Holyhead ;" from which it appears that these “great rough stones” were “about 20 in number and between 4 and 5 foot high: at the northern end stand two stones on end about two yards bigb the stones, which he says were “4, 5, 6, 7, 8 foote.”] The plan itself was clearly not laid down from measurements, and can have no pretensions to minute accuracy. We cannot, however, but conclude from it, that the "continuous embankment opposite the north end” of the cave, to which Professor Donaldson refers, and where he would place an “alley of stones” leading to "an opening in the outer ring,” consists, of the remains of the northern end of this oblong tumulus.

Although Aubrey is our best witness, we do not depend entirely on him for the fact that this monument formed part of a long barrow. Wise, who followed Aubrey about seventy years later, described it in 1738, whilst in much the same condition as when seen by his predecessor, and long before the trees which now cover it had been planted, or many of the outlying stones removed, which was done towards the close of the last century, "for the purpose of building a barn.” Wise says expressly that “the stones that are left enclose a piece of ground of an irregular figure at present, but which

1

above ground. Some are sunk deep and some fallen flat, which are almost overgrown with earth and grasse. They are called Y Lleche (i.e. The Stones.) They stand upon a hillock, in the parish of Caer-Gybi.” There is no notice of this monument either in Pennant or Rowland; though part of the preceding account was copied in Gibson's Camden, (1695, p. 679.) They are clearly the stones “above Holy-head” referred to by Aubrey in his description of Avebury Wiltshire Archæol. Mag., vol iv., p. 317.)

Aubrey's inserted notice of Wayland Smyth contains in almost every line some ill founded assertion or crude hypothesis ; it is as follows:

“Mdm. On the top of White-Horse-hill is a Barrow called by the name of dragon-Hill This rich and pleasant Vale of White Horse, Hengist or Horsa (a Saxon king-vide in Drayton's Polyolbion) tooke into his possession. Hengist signifies a horse, as also Horsa. The White-Horse was their Standard at the Conquest of Britaine, which is the origine of the White Horse cutt out in this chalkie hill, which is seen many miles from thence; by the several barrows hereabout one may perceive here how many (?) battels fought. That Uter Pendragon fought against the Saxons is certayne: perhaps was here slayne, from whence Dragon-hill may take its denomination. And this great sepulchre called Wayland Smyth is not unlikely to be a great and rude monument of Hengist or Horsa, for in their countrey remaine many monuments like it. Vide Olai Wormii Monumenta Danica, v. p. 16."

Then follows the sketch of the monument, as in our anastatic plate, headed Wayland Smyth, about half-a-mile west from the White Horse in Berks.”

2 J. Y, Akerman, Archæologia, vol. xxxii., p. 312.

formerly might have been an oblong square, extending duly North and South ;”-a description which is borne out by the sketches of the monument which accompany his letter. Wise describes the " Cavern as “on the east side of the southern extremity of the enclosed piece of ground raised a few feet above the common level," and as consisting of “Three squarish flat stones of about four or five feet over each way, set on edge, and supporting a Fourth of much larger dimensions, lying flat upon them. These altogether form a Cavern **** which may shelter ten or a dozen sheep from a storm.” “There seem,” says Wise, "to have been two approaches to our Altar" (for so he would make the flat stone) “through rows of large stones set on edge, one from the South, the other from the West, the latter leading directly into the Cavern.” What Wise regarded as a western approach is really a side chamber, differing only from that opposite to it on the east, in having its covering stone removed.

Sir R. C. Hoare had free access to Aubrey's "Monumenta Britan. nica," and it was hardly possible that he should take this monument for any other than “a long barrow, having a kistvaen of stones within it, to protect the place of interment. A line of stones encircled the head of the barrow, of which I noticed four standing in their original position ; the corresponding four on the opposite side had been displaced *** The long barrows almost invariably point towards the east, at which end is found the sepulchral deposit, but this barrow deviates from the general rule, by pointing north and south. The adit or avenue, the stones of which still remain, goes strait from south to north, then turns abruptly to the east, where we find the kistvaen, covered by the large incumbent stone, which measures ten feet by nine." ?

1 Letter to Dr. Mead concerning Antiquities in Berkshire, 1738, pp. 34–39. Wise attributes Wayland Smith's Cave to the Danes, making it the sepulchre of their king Bagsec, slain at Æscesdun in 871; as Aubrey, with equal improbability, makes it the monument of Hengist or Horsa. Sir Walter Scott (Notes to Kenilworth, chap. 13,) adopts Wise's view; but he never saw the place, and, as the author of the “Scouring of the White Horse” (1859 p. 69) says, “He should have known better. The Danish king was no more buried there than in Westminster Abbey." 2 Ancient Wilts, vol. ii., p. 47. The writer has condensed and in part

2 F

VOL. VII.-NO. XXI.

Sir Richard Hoare did not recognise that, in addition to the more perfect chamber existing on the east side of what he calls the adit, there had been a similar lateral chamber opposite to it on the west side; the two, with the central passage leading to them, giving to the ground-plan the form of a Latin cross. Such a cruciform arrangement of sepulchral chambers prevails in the great chambered cairns of New Grange and Dowth in Ireland ; in the equally remarkable Maes-Howe, near Stenness in Orkney, lately opened by Mr. James Farrar, M.P.,' and in those lesser cairns in Caithness, examined a few years since, by Mr. A. H. Rhind. In the chambered barrow of West Kennet there were no lateral chambers, but one large terminal one, into which the gallery opened. At Uley in Gloucestershire, and at Stoney Littleton and Nempnet in Somersetshire, the lateral chambers did not consist of a single pair; but of two pairs at Uley, three at Stoney Littleton, and of at least five in that called the “Fairies' Toote" formerly existing at Nempnet.*

The chamber which retains its covering stone intact, and which forms the so called cave or smithy of Wayland, measures about 5 feet in length, by 4 in width. It is at present about 4 feet in height in the interior. This, however, can hardly be regarded as the true height of the chamber. That in the West Kennet chambered barrow, likewise formed of large Sarsen blocks, was between 7 and 8 feet in height; and there can be little doubt that the uprights which support the cap-stone in the Berkshire example extend almost as much below the present surface as they stand above

transposed, Sir Richard's description. It is not improbable that the barrow and the gallery leading to the chambers pointed to the south, rather than the east, in consequence of the position of the Ridgeway in that direction.

1 Archæol. Journal, vol. xviii., p. 353. See also “ Notice of Runic Inscriptions Discovered” in “Maes-Howe,” 1862; printed by Mr. Farrer, for private circulation.

2 Ulster Journal of Archäology, 1854, vol. ii., p. 100. The great Irish cairns near the Boyne, have been surrounded by peristaliths or rings of standing stones.

3 Archæologia, vol. xxxviii., p. 403. 4 For Uley, see Archæol. Journal, vol. xi., p. 315; for Stoney Littleton, Archæologia, vol. xix., p. 43; and for Nempnet, Gentleman's Magazine, 1789, vol. lix, p.392. All these are reviewed, in a paper by the Rev. H. M. Scarth, in the Proceedings of the Somersetshire Archeological Society, vol. viii., p. 35.

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