Anglo-Saxon God of
- Wayland was the Anglo-Saxon
god of metalworking.
- He does not appear in Anglo-Saxon literature.
However, pictures of him appear on the famous Anglo-Saxon 'Franks
Casket' in the British Museum. There is also a famous
English landmark named after him and he appears in English
- He was usually shown as a bearded
man with a bent leg, working in a forge.
- The Vikings told this story about
- Wayland was famous throughout
Northern Europe and Scandinavia for the fabulously beautiful
metalwork and jewelry that he made. All the gods and kings
wanted to own it.
- Niduth, the King of Sweden,
decided he wanted to own everything Wayland made. So he sent
his soldiers to capture him.
- While they slept, Wayland and
his brother, Egil, were tied up and brought to the Royal
palace. Wayland was put to work on an island. To stop him
escaping, the King shattered his leg with his own sword.
- While Wayland made fantastic
things for the King, he also plotted his revenge.
- He had his brother catch wild
birds from whose feathers he made a pair of magic wings.
- Curious about his forge,
Wayland was visited by the King's sons. The smith-god killed
them and made their skulls into jewel-encrusted cups which
he gave to Niduth and his queen.
- When it was found that the
princes were missing, search parties were sent out across
- Their sister, Princess Beahilda,
came searching on Wayland's island with her maidservant. He attacked
them. Then put on his magic wings and
flew off across the North Sea.
- English legend says that he
eventually landed in Southern England. He set up home on the
Berkshire Downs and was thought to have built a stone chambered
house for himself. It is still
known as 'Wayland's
- However, like things named after Woden,
it is really prehistoric. It is a chambered burial mound.