Rollright StonesStow on the Wold
English Heritage
The Rollright Trust
Nr Little Rollright
Chipping Norton
Cotswolds
 
 
Just off the A44 near the villages of Long Compton, Great Rollright and Little Rollright is a megalithic site known as The Rollright Stones. Local folklore has named them ‘The King’s Stone; ‘The King’s Men’ and ‘The Whispering Knights’.
 
The stones are very old and weathered limestone and do not represent a monumental ceremonial site although ‘The King’s Men’ do form a circle.
 
It was originally believed that the stones all dated from the same period but we now know that 'The Whispering Knights' are the oldest.
 
The Whispering Knights
Four hundred and thirty seven yards (400m) to the east of the ‘King’s Stone’ are four standing and one recumbent stones dated to around 4000 - 3500 BC.  These stones are the remains of a 6.5 feet square (2 metre square) dolmen portal burial chamber from the early or middle Neolithic period.
 
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The King’s Men
Standing on a circular earth bank are 77 closely spaced standing stones forming a 104 feet (32 m) diameter stone circle.  Two portal stones mark the entrance on the south-eastern side.  Originally there were 105 stones in the circle but many have been removed over the centuries for some reason or another.  The stones are dated to around 2500-2000 BC.   It is not known for what purpose the circle was erected.
 
The King Stone
Standing 82 yards (75 m) to the east of The King’s Men is a single weathered monolith.  It is almost 8 feet (2.4 m) high and almost 5 feet (1.5 m) wide.  It is believed to have been erected between 1800 and 1500 BC as a marker stone for an early Bronze Age cemetery.
 
Folklore
Legend has it that a King and his army were riding across the country when they were accosted by a local witch known as Mother Shipton.  She turned the King, some of his army and a dissident group of knights into stone.  The local names for these stones reflect this story.
 
Whether you believe in the mystical significance of these stones or are just interested in ancient pre-historic sites, this isolated spot certainly has an aura to it and is worth visiting.
 
Plan Your Visit
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Open
All year from sunrise to sunset
 
Admission Price
The Rollright Trust looks after the site and charges £1 admission.  If the caretaker is not on-site visitors are requested to leave their admission coin in the box provided.
 
Facilities
None.
The Trust recommends the facilities at  Wyatts Farm Shop approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) to the east of the Stones on the way to Great Rollright.  They have toilets, café, leaflets and booklets, post cards, etc.
 
Contact & Further Information
 
Getting There
- By Car from Oxford: Take the A44 west from Oxford to the intersection with the A3400 just before Chipping Norton. The A3400 is signposted to Shipston on Stour and then to Stratford-upon-Avon.
 
Take that A3400 for about 3 miles (5km) to the turnoff to your left to Little Rollright and The Rollright Stones. A map and detailed information is at Web:  How to find the Rollright Stones
 
Google Map - The Rollright Stones