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The Rollright Stones (Oxfordshire)

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The Rollright Stone Circle, Oxfordshire. One of the most famous megalithic sites in Britain and my favorite. The years and weather have gnawed away at these ancient stones for so long that each one now has its own character. The site is also surrounded by

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      22.09.2000 21:12
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      If you're interested in archaeology and history, but fed up with places like Stonehenge that keep you at a distance with wire fences and huge admission fees, you could do a lot worse than paying a visit to the Rollrights. Rollright itself is a very pleasant area, a couple of little villages (upper and lower Rollright) with 'proper' country pubs and shops and a relaxed outdoorsey atmosphere. The Rollright monuments are a bit off the beaten track, but well signposted and easy to find. There are no facilities at the site, other than a lay-by for cars to park in, but there are pubs and a garden centre a few minutes away which provide food/drink and toilet facilities for those that need them. The main stone circle - the Kings Men, is reputed to be older than Stonehenge, and if that's not enough for you there are other mounments including neolithic tombs and an anglo-saxon cemetery in the surrounding fields too all of which are classed as part of the site. The prices are incredibly reasonable with all proceeds going to the preservation of the site. Normal admission is only 50p for adults and private hire of the circle for ceremonies and celebrations starts from around £20. Most of the time it's a quiet peaceful place to visit and just soak up the atomsphere, but a couple of times a year there are special events to join in with - full details are on the website www.rollright.demon.co.uk There are loads of legends and stories about the place - it's supposed to be impossible to count the stones and if you do manage to count and get the same number 3 times depending on which story you believe you will either be cursed or blessed from then onwards. The wardens who staff the site always seem to be well informed - and since they're all volunteers they genuinely seem to love the place and want to share that with the visitors. They'll even lend you dowsing rods so you can try and find the ley lines or whatev
      er else might be hidden there. So far as I am concerned it's probably the most magical place in the whole of Britain.

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