|On my regular every-other-week visit to Stratford, I pass the Rollright Stones. They mark the half-way point between the place I grew up and the place I settled. Depending on the weather, I'll stop there, just to 'check-in' with them again, like saying 'hi' to old friends. Today I was particularly keen to call in as up there on the top of Long Compton hill, there might still be some snow and I have never seen these old birds in winter plumage.
The gate was unlocked and no-one was around to take the entrance fee, so my son and I walked in to have the stones all to ourselves. To my delight, the snow had lingered. To Rupert's delight, someone had made a little snowman sitting right in the middle of the circle. Last year The Rollright Trust purchased a strip of land at the top of the adjacent field to the south of the circle. I'm happy to report that the ugly metal fence which for years ran within inches of the southern stones has been removed. The King's Men feel as if they have been set free to spin and whirl and look southward again. And best of all, one can now enter the circle by it's original portal. Standing at the entrance, if you look south east, the Whispering Knights are clearly visible about 150ms away across the field - the view uninterrupted. At last!
On the other side of the road stands the tortured figure of the King Stone, still caged in disfiguring Ministry of Works railings. Until a few months ago, you could just climb over a stile and enter the field in which the stone stands for free. A nice new informative sign has appeared and The Rollright Trust has introduced a fee policy for this site, too. 50p for all three sites. Bargain. But how tragic that 11 months on, yellow paint still scars the King's Men. I was hoping to hear news from the staff of an arrest made last week in connection with the paint splatter incident, but no-one was around to answer my questions.
Posted by Jane
27th February 2005ce
Edited 27th February 2005ce
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