The Rollright Stones is a complex of three Neolithic and Bronze Age megalithic monuments in the Cotswolds, the postcode address for it is OX7 5QB if you want to visit.
The complex consists of three main elements, The Kings Men stone circle, the King Stone, and the Whispering Knights.
The oldest, the Whispering Knights dolmen, is early Neolithic, circa 3,800-3,500 BC, the King’s Men stone circle is late Neolithic, circa 2,500 BC; and the King Stone is early to middle Bronze Age, circa 1,500 BC.
The Stones are made of natural boulders of Jurassic oolitic limestone which forms the bulk of the Cotswold hills. This stone has been used extensively in the region for building everything from churches and houses to stone walls. The boulders used to construct the Rollright Stones were probably collected from within 500m of the site.
In 2012, inspired by the legend of the Witch and the King, the environmental artist David Gosling created a wooden sculpture of a witch. This was made of the branches of Wellingtonia trees that were donated by The National Trust’s Compton Verney property, and held together with wire. The sculpture lasted for over a year but eventually succumbed to the forces of nature.
(text from the Rollright Stones website)
There is another temporary sculpture there now, also created by David and his son Adam – The Three Fairies
Cloth, or gifts, tied to trees is an ancient tradition. I believe it is a physical representation of a prayer or wish in which the help of Nature Spirits and Deities is asked for but I haven’t been able to find anything that explains this fully so if anyone knows more about it please let me know. The trees around the Rollrite stones are adorned with ribbons, flowers and other gifts. Some people see this as litter which I think is sad, as long as people consider the environment when choosing what to leave and don’t damage the trees I don’t see the problem and the wishes and prayers will mean a lot to someone and I believe should be left where they have been placed.
It’s a very peaceful pace to visit and a lovely place to go for a walk. The Stones are famously uncountable and it is said no one ever counts the same number twice.