Guide to Faringdon & the local area. Discover and enjoy the very best Oxfordshire, Wiltshire and the Cotswolds have to offer.

WAYLANDS SMITHY

& THE BLOWING STONE

A fine and atmospheric Neolithic chambered long barrow 2km (11/4 miles) along the Ridgeway from the Uffington White Horse: it was once believed to be the habitation of the Saxon smith-god Wayland.

The first monument here, built between 3590 and 3555 BC, was a mortuary structure of stone and wood. On a pavement of sarsen stone slabs lay a narrow wooden box, into which people were successively placed. Two split tree-trunks were positioned upright at each end.

For more information visit www.english-heritage.org.uk

The Blowing Stone

The Blowing Stone is a perforated sarsen stone, located in a garden at the foot of Blowingstone Hill just south of the Icknield Way, at Kingston Lisle, near Uffington, in the English county of Oxfordshire.

The stone is capable of producing a booming sound, when anyone with the required skill blows into one of the perforations in a particular way. This was, according to legend, the means whereby King Alfred summoned his Saxon troops, in readiness for the nearby Battle of Ashdown, against the Vikings. This legend reputedly gives rise to the village's name, 'King's stone', the Lisle suffix being a later addition.

Also, according to legend, a person who is capable of making the blowing stone sound a note which is audible atop Uffington White Horse Hill (where Victorian antiquarians thought King Alfred's troops had camped) will be a future King of England.

Blowingstone Hill is part of the scarp slope of the White Horse Hills, in the Berkshire Downs and at its crest is the Ridgeway.

Entrance to Wayland's Smithy

The Blowing Stone