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Legends of the Rollright Stones

Many ancient sites in the British Isles have legends connected
with them and the Rollrights have their share. Here is a selection
of those legends.

 

The King and the Witch

Probably the most famous legend is about a King and his men that were crossing the
Cotswolds when they met a witch. She taunted the king with these words -

"Seven long strides shalt thou take
And if Long Compton thou canst see,
King of England thou shalt be."

The King knowing Long Compton was just over the ridge went off shouting -

"Stick, stock, stone
As King of England I shall be known."

Of course there was a catch, take those seven steps and a mound sometimes known as the
Arch Druid's barrow blocks the view (and still does today).The witch laughed and said -

"As Long Compton thou canst not see
King of England thou shalt not be.
Rise up stick and stand still stone
For King of England thou shalt be none;
Thou and thy men hoar stones shall be
And I myself an eldern tree."

And so it was that the King became the King Stone, his men the King's Men Stone Circle, and his
knights the Whispering Knights. The witch an Elder tree growing in a hedge between the King Stone
and the Stone Circle, looks over them until the spell is broken.


The King Stone

Over the centuries the stories have been embellished, the stones are said to go down the hill to a brook at
Little Rollright at midnight on new years eve to drink, and any mortal witnessing this will surely go insane or
die. If the Elder is cut when in blossom it will bleed. On midsummers eve at midnight people once gathered at
the King Stone and when the Witch Elder was cut the King moved his head.

 

The Kings Men

Legend has it that it is impossible to count the kings men to the same total twice, and even today during the
hours of darkness it is a near impossible task. The Stones of course resist being moved and cursed be any
mortal man that would try.


The Kings men

 

Fertility Rites and the Stones

As with other ancient sites the Rollright Stones are believed to aid with fertility, women
wanting a child would go to the King Stone at night and embrace it with their naked bodies.
Today the Stone is surrounded by a fence which could make this a little difficult.
The Whispering Knights were visited by girls and young women
who could hear the stones whispering the name of their future husbands to them.


The whispering Knights

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