Rollright Stones

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The stones are set in the depths of the depths of the Cotswold countryside on the Oxfordshire and Warwickshire border. There isn’t a lot to see, but the site is steeped in mystery and superstition.

Set in the corner of a field is a stone circle, known as the King’s Men, with a tall standing stone in the field across the road, known as the King Stone.

Being limestone, the stones have eroded badly over the millennia. It is supposed to be impossible to count the stones and according to legend: The man will never live who shall count the stones three times and find the number the same each time. Anyone who thrice counts the same number will have their heart’s desire fulfilled.

In one myth, the stone circle is a monarch and his courtiers who were turned to stone by a wicked witch. The spell is broken at midnight when the men come back to life, join hands and dance round in a circle. Anyone witnessing this will either go mad or die…

Another states that there are caves beneath the stones which are the haunt of fairies who come and and dance by the light of the moon. It is good luck to leave a small gift for them.

There are also unfortunate consequences if anyone is foolish enough to damage or try to move the stones.

The King Stone was associated with fertility and would also be visited by young girls who believed the stone would whisper the name of their future husband.

Even now, the stones are visited by pagans and other esoterics who hold magico-religious ceremonies there. It is possible to book them for your own ceremonies.

The stones are open daylight hours. There is a small charge of £1 and an honesty box when the ticket office is closed.

The stones are on an unclassified road off the A3400 between Chipping Norton and Long Compton. There is a small layby and the stone circle is reached by a well made track. It is possible to walk around the circle and between the stones.

Guide books and postcards can be bought at Wyatts Farm Shop one mile east of the stones on the road to Great Rollright, which has a tea room and toilets.

It is difficult to put a star value on the site. The stones aren’t very big and to be honest are just a ring of stones. However the atmosphere and associated myths boost the ranking. Go and find out for yourselves….

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