Visit to the Rollright Stones

Posted on October 9, 2006 by Holly Hayes
Part of: Graduate School in Oxford

Saturday morning we went to see the Rollright Stones, a stone circle and other monuments dating from 4000-1500 BC. They were interesting, and best of all were only 20 miles from Oxford. They are on a small hilltop in the village of Little Rollright (hence the name) and there were really nice views of the countryside in both directions.

king's men
The King's Men

The monuments all have great whimsical names, based on the local folklore that they were people who were turned into stone by a witch. The stone circle above is called the "King's Men."

Then there is a group of four standing stones that is named the "Whispering Knights" because it looks like they're conspiring together. They are actually part of a burial chamber that was used for a thousand years.

whispering knights
Whispering Knights

And across the road is the "King's Stone," a single megalith that probably marked a Bronze Age burial ground:

king's stone

After our tour we had lunch in the town of Woodstock, which is near Blenheim Palace and 8 miles from Oxford. We had vegetable soup and appetizers at a restaurant/pub called "Vickers" (below right).

David got a couple of sausages from the butcher (above left), but we passed on the partridges and pigeons. They also had a nice little outdoor market with lovely autumn offerings (below). We bought some lavender butter biscuits, but it was weird eating lavender. Although objectively it tasted fine, subjectively it was like eating soap! Their brownies were good, however. :)