Folklore and Legends - Oxfordshire

Rollright Stones

The Rollright Stones dates from the Bronze Age. The circle of stones is a 100 ft in diameter and to one side stands the King stone. The stones are widely believed to be a King and his army that were turned to stone by a local witch. The army were marching north towards Little Rollright when the King came upon a local wise woman.
She told the him that if he could see Long Compton within seven strides he would be King of the whole country.
Taking the seven steps up the hill his view was obscured by a mound, jubilant the witch turned the King and all his men to stone, and there they wait for somebody who has enough strong magic to break the spell.

The witch then turned herself into an elder tree close to the stones to stand guard against the spell being broken.

Many years ago it was the custom to visit the stones on midsummer eve and cut the elder. The tree was supposed to bleed and bring fertility to the land for the year ahead.

This site is also a favourite spot of the Oxfordshire faeries. At certain times of the year at the full moon, the stones will come to life and perform strange dances with the faeries, then they dance down to a nearby spring for a drink to quench their thirst.

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