FROM SCRATCHWOOD TO WYCHWOOD

Legends

course, there's a legend about the Rollright Stones:-
A king was touring the Cotswold Ridgeway with a bunch of the lads, looking for a bit of action, when this witch popped up and taunted him with a dare;

"Seven long strides shalt thou take,
And if Long Compton thou canst see,
King of England thou shalt be"
Now, the king knew Long Compton was just over this little hill, and seven strides, even megalithic strides, should top that, no bother.
"Stick, stock, stone,
As King of England I shall be known."

Of course there was a catch. Still is. Take those seven steps towards Long Compton, and a surprising little mound turns up, and blocks the view. Kings roaming around the English legendary countryside should know better. Witches are full of tricks. And verses.

"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 I myself an eldern tree."

So, there's this eight foot standing stone near the top of a rise, and an elder tree looking suitably witchy, and, on the other side of the road, a circle of stoned squaddies.

The Victorians added a few garnishes to the tale. The stones are said to go down-hill to drink from a brook at midnight on New Year's Eve; the King and his soldiers only sleep, to re-awaken in England's hour of need; the stones resist being moved, and curse those who try; the stones of the circle can never be counted, not to the same total twice. A fairly disappointing collection of tales, mostly borrowed from other sites, in other parts of the country. Stones is Stones.

Stone Me Stone Me Like a Rollright Stone Like a Rollright Stone
© David Craig Send me a message