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Folklore Fridays: Rollright Stones: Part 3

Not content with having Countless Stones and people turned to stone, the Rollrights are also associated with the following stories, all suggestive of the stones animacy and possible apotropaic qualities.

They’re Alive! The stones are said to be able to move of their own accord. One account clains that they once went down to drink from a brook at 12 –  at the very start of the New Year. In the early 1900s they suddenly aquired the ability to move whenever they heard the Long Compton Clock strike the chimes at midnight.

Dangerous to Move. When a tall stone from the King’s Men was taken to create a bridge over a stream, the tenant who moved it could not rest until it was returned to its rightful place. An elaborated version of this story tells how four horses and a wagon were needed to drag it down hill, and two men were killed in the process! Only one horse was needed to drag it back uphill on its return.

Talismans. Although moving whole stones was bad luck, chipping off small bits of stone was a common practice, as people believed that fragments of stone could keep the Devil away.

Dr H

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