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Banburyshire’s Ancient Sites – Rollright Stones:

‘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.

Landscape image: ‘The King Stone’, 14th March 2019.
The King Stone

Weathered by time, and the alleged chipping-away for souvenirs by antiquarians, the stone was the last part of the present-day site to be erected. The King Stone stands across the road, and the county boundary, from The King’s Men circle. It was erected in the Bronze Age, 3,500 years ago, about a thousand years after the stone circle.

This stone represents a change in culture compared to the practises of the other two phases of this site. It marks what is considered to be a Bronze Age to Saxon burial site that stretched across this ridge-line (I think, even in ancient times, people really enjoyed a stunning landscape view!).

Summary for ‘The King Stone’:

Location: Rollright, Oxfordshire

Type: ‘Standing Stones, Circles, and Megaliths’.

Condition: Restored monolith.

Access: Owned by private trust; open most days, please leave a donation in the box if there is no one there.

OS Grid Ref.: SP296309.

Further information: The Rollright Trust.

Walks posts or videos for this site:

As with The King Stone, there are other large single enigmatic monoliths in this area we can compare it with: Such as The Hawk Stone near Charlbury, just a short distance away along the putative course of the Jurassic Way.

There are some strategically placed lumps of rock on the brow of the hill just beyond The King Stone. Not part of the historic site, but placed here by the Rollrights Trust for visitors to sit upon and admire the view. It’s well worth a look. Even on a grim day (when these pictures were taken), the 20-mile view across the Ebrington/Ilmington Downs and up the Stour valley to the hills beyond Stratford always has something new to see.

The King Stone is another reminder that Britain’s ancient peoples valued not simply this point on the map, but the wider landscape of which it formed a part. When visiting The Rollright Stones it’s easy to look inward, at the stones. In fact, what these locations encourage you to do is to look outward, at the world all around, of which you are an essential part.

Landscape image, ‘The view northward up the Stour valley, and Long Compton’, 14th March 2019.
What The King missed: The view northward up the Stour valley, and Long Compton
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