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The Rollright Stones
The Rollright Stones are an early Bronze Age stone circle consisting of around 70 weathered stones, the ring is 100 feet in diameter and none of the stones are over 4 feet in height.
Legend suggests that a king and his knights were marching to war, a witch made a prophecy that if the king took seven strides and could see Long Compton, he would be the king of England. The king made seven strides and found he could not see the town, the promptly witch turned them all to stone, and turned her self into an Elder tree. The kings men are the stone circle, the Kings Stone is the king and the Whispering Knights are knights who were plotting against the king.
Seven long strides shalt thou take,
If Long Compton thou can'st see,
King of England thou shalt be.
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 myself an eldern tree. In tradition nobody can count the stones, anybody who tries is supposed to arrive at a different number each time. Bad luck is supposed to fall all those who move the stones.
According to one story, a local farmer fancied one of the Whispering Knights to build into his barn. He yoked up the stone with three of his best oxen and his best cart. There was a tremendous struggle to get the stone into the cart, finally he managed it and set off downhill to his farm.
After a long ponderous journey they reached the farm, whereupon all three of the oxen dropped dead and the cart fell to pieces. He built the stone into his wall and from that day on had nothing but ill fortune. He had to sell the house, his land and his stock, and finally he was left only with a shaky horse and a rickety cart.
He decided that his ill fortune stemmed from the Whispering Knight and decided to replace it. The stone went into the cart with ease and the old horse walked up the hill as if there was nothing in the cart. Once the stone was back in place the farmer returned to his former wealth and had no more problems.
The stones are situated about two and a half miles from Chipping Norton.