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Banburyshire’s Ancient Sites:

The Rollright Stones

‘The Rollright Stones’ are not a single feature. It is made up of three distinct sites which span 1,500 years of history.

Landscape image: ‘The Dancing Færies’, 14th March 2019
‘The Dancing Færies’

‘The Rollright Stones’ are one, albeit famous site within our local network of ancient sites. They are a set of monuments, spanning millennia, which occupy a small point in the local landscape, that is part of a greater ritual landscape that extends well beyond these local hills.

The culture that created these monuments represented a common culture which spanned Europe’s Atlantic coast – and people moved across that region. The site sits upon an ancient route, The Cotswold Ridgeway, that traversed England from east to west; and two miles to the east is The Jurassic Way, a Neolithic route running from Lincolnshire to Stonehenge.

‘The Rollrich Stones’, Ordnance Survey First Series Map, 1886

Sites such as this, both near to here and further afield, are a link to a very different time in our history that, in these ecologically troubled times, still have important things to tell us today. To explain the details of each distinct part of The Rollright Stones complex, the images and information for this location are divided into three pages:

The Rollright Stones, The King’s Men Circle
The King’s Men Circle.

Frozen in their dance, ‘The King’s Men’ hold their circle amidst the trees. These ancient stones are almost certainly not arranged as they were laid out, though the location has lost none of its splendour.

The Rollright Stones, The King Stone
The King Stone.

Standing alone on the far side of the road, The King Stone enigmatically surveys the view, still unable to see Long Compton.

The Rollright Stones, The Whispering Knights
The Whispering Knights.

Across the field from the circle stand a small close group of stones; the knights ‘whispering’ their treachery against The King and his Men, cast out to the edge of the site.

The Rollright Stones are a spectacular place to visit. What I hope you will appreciate is that they are but one of many in the area. If you are able to visit those places on foot you may be able to understand far more about this landscape, and how this small site fits into that much larger story.

Landscape image, ‘The King’s Men Circle and Over Norton hill’
The King’s Men and Over Norton hill
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