Thursday, 25 October 2012

The Rollright Stones

These stones date back to the neolithic times and are made up of the King stone 
which stands slightly to one side of the seventy seven stones called the 
whispering knights. These lean together looking as though they are plotting 
against the King. He was leading his army towards the Cotswold Ridgeway 
in his campaign to become High King of England. On his way up the hill 
the King met a witch, she addressed him

'Seven long strides thou shalt take
And if Long Compton  thou can see
King of England thou shalt be'

not to be outdone the King quipped back

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

Saying that he began to walk up the hill but a hillock reared up suddenly
before him and blocked his view of the distant village.
The witch sang out

'Rise up stick and stand still stone
For King of England thou shall be none
Thou and thy men hoar stones shall be
And I myself an eldern tree'

The King and all his men instantly turned to stone and the witch turned
 into a elder tree close to the stones to guard against the spell being broken.
For many years it was the custom for people to gather at the stones on 
Midsummer Eve to cut the elder tree, if it bled it would bring fertility to the land. 
Some believed that the King stone would move its head if the tree bled. 
The stones are also believed to confirm fertility upon woman who touch
 their bare breasts to the stones at midnight. 
The King and his knights are said to be asleep in a cavern under the stones
 ready to be awoken in time of need, very much like the Arthurian legend.

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