A POEM A DAY - THE KING'S MEN


The King's Men  is a stone circle near the village of Great Rollright in Oxfordshire. It is one of three megalithic monuments known as the Rollright Stones which also feature a single standing stone, the King Stone and a group of stones thought to be a burial chamber called The Whispering Knights.

The monuments are from three different time periods, the oldest being The Whispering Knights from the early Neolithic, about 3,500 to 3,800 BC. The stone circle dates to the late Neolithic, circa 2,500 years BC and the King's Stone from the early Bronze age, approximately 1,500 BC. More information on the archaeological investigation of the stones is given on the Rollright website, https://www.rollrightstones.co.uk/

A number of myths have grown up to explain the sites. One describes how a witch  challenged a King and his army saying 'Seven long strides shalt thou take and if Long Compton thou canst see, King of England thou shalt be'. As he took his seventh stride the view was obscured by a rising mound and the King was turned to stone, becoming the King Stone, his army petrified into the circle of the King's Men and the Knights plotting against him became the Whispering Knights. The witch herself turned into an elder tree in the hedgerow and it said if this is ever cut the spell will be broken and the Stones will turn back to life. 


Another popular myth challenges people to win a wish by counting the stones three times. If you get the same number each time your wish will be granted. There are 77 stones but although I counted very carefully, I came up with a different number each time. It is said to be an impossible task as the stones are uncountable. 



© 2019 Jacqueline Knight Cotterill.  All rights reserved. 




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