Outdoor Space

The Rollright Stones, near Chipping Norton

The Rollright Stones, near Chipping Norton

Tucked away on the boundary between Oxfordshire and Warwickshire, this incredible archaeological site is maybe not as famous as some, yet it is a joy to visit because of this – it’s barely touched by tourism and you can often enjoy a visit without anyone else about.

Comprising of three sites; the Whispering Knights, the King’s Men stone circle and the King’s Stone are within a short walk of each other and are made of limestone, probably collected from within 500 meters of the site. Rich in myth and legend, it is said that the King’s Men stone circle cannot be counted – each time you do, the number is different!

As to the names? Well, there are lots of folk tales as you can imagine, but the main legend is that a king was accosted by a witch who bet him that if he saw the nearby village of Long Compton in seven strides, he would be made King of England. Taking the challenge, the king took seven strides up a small hill. It wasn’t enough, so the witch turned him to stone (becoming the ‘King’s Stone), his army (becoming the King’s Men circle) and his knights, who happened to be whispering and plotting against the king (becoming the Whispering Knights).

Whatever it’s history, this is a lovely, peaceful spot to visit, whether you’re interested in archaeology, nature or simply looking for a great picnic location.

The site is open all year round and throughout the night (it’s a popular spot for stargazers) with an honesty box for when there isn’t a warden on duty.

Want to plan a visit? Take a look at our luxury cottages in the Cotswolds here.

The Rollright Stones, Stone Ct, Great Rollright, Chipping Norton OX7 5QB | www.rollrightstones.co.uk

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