The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

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The Rollright Stones (Stone Circle) — Fieldnotes

Visited the stones on 23rd December and saw the fire damage then. The vandalism seemed especially incongruous as it was a lovely sunny morning. A mouse scurried to shelter by one of the stones as we walked past and chaffinches and a robin were flitting from stone to stone. This was the third year that we'd made a Yuletide visit to the Rollrights and, despite the vandalism, the atmosphere seemed very different to our previous 2 visits. This time the stones seemed mellow, almost cheerful, whereas other times when I've been to visit they've had a despondent, vulnerable air. I wasn't dowsing but there was a definite feeling that I shouldn't enter the circle at one point – it wasn't an emotion, more like feeling a physical resistance.

Possibly I'm just projecting my own feelings on to them as the last groups of stones I visited, the high and low Bridestones, didn't provoke such feelings – tho being on the Yorkshire moors on a freezing day in heavy rain kind of focuses the mind in other directions. I'm also aware I may have been "primed" to expect something at the Rollrights as years ago I read Tom Graves' Needles of Stone – a book which had a major influence on me at the time. Writing about the Rollrights, Graves felt they had an unpleasantly weird atmosphere when he went there. He wondered if he was picking up the "aura" left by a ceremony held there a few years prior to his visit in which a young puppy had been sacrificed (Needles of Stone, Granada, 1978, p. 152).
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