Saturday 26th June 2021
I went for a walk today to see the Rollright Stones in the Cotswolds.
London June 2021
I decided to start my journey at Moreton-in-Marsh. Kingham is the closest station as the crow flies, but I thought it might be a bit boring just walking to and from the same station.
Unfortunately starting at Moreton-in-Marsh meant starting my walk with a long trudge alongside the A44, which wasn't much fun in places.
A cinnabar moth beside the A44.
More of the A44. I suppose at the points went there weren't any cars passing it wasn't that bad.
The Four Shire Stone.
This used to mark the spot where the borders of Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire met, although apparently since then the borders have been revised slightly and Worcestershire no longer gets a look in.
Hard to see in the photos but each face has the name of a different county on it, thus why I tried to take a photo from each side.
Some sort of waymarker / milestone?
Towards the end of my trudge along the A44 there was a wide grass verge, which I was thankful for.
Very oddly a dead fish beside the road.
Nice views opening up to the north of the A44 here.
I turned off the road at the entrance to Kitebrook school, where finally I could join a footpath.
Or at least I thought so. Although there wlas a stile at the point on the OS map where the footpath was supposed to start, beyond that there was a field of wheat and I couldn't see the path at all.
So I had to just do the best I could and zig zag through the tractor tracks, looking at my phone to stay as close as possible to the route of the footpath.
Yet another grainy photo.
Sort of nice views beyond the wheat fields, although it was a bit overcast at this point, and there had been some light showers in fact.
More views across the wheat fields.
A stile once again reassuring me I was just about managing to follow the footpath.
The sky clearning up a bit now.
Eventually I got through all the wheat fields, and onto this pleasant hedge lined country lane which passed a spring called Salter's Well (which unfortunately didn't seem accessible from here).
More fields beyond there, although at least this time there was a proper path to follow along the side of the field. I think this might actually be barley rather than wheat - I feel like I don't see that very often: "There were three men came out of the west, their fortunes for to try..."
"...and these three men made a solemn vow..."
"...John Barleycorn must die."
Nice views from here I thought.
I peak through a hedge to views of the hills beyond.
Another grainy photo.
A little cluster of delapidated farm buildings marked on the map as "Neakings".
Running out of things to say about these fields a bit.
I eventually joined a road again, and quite liked the look of this stone stile - I think that was possibly Shakespeare's Way leading off to Long Compton - alas not the route I was following today.
Zoomed in a bit.
Blue flowers scattered around this field.
...and again with a bit more sky.
I also thought this gate looked charmingly rustic.
In hindsight I spent a lot more of today's walk on roads than I would have liked.
Finally a signpost to the Rollright Stones.
I thought this house as quite pretty.
...and now, just before midday, I arrived at the Rollright Stones. Here's the main stone circle, called the King's Men.
I thought this would be a good spot to have an early lunch, having stopped at the Coop in Moreton in Marsh to pick up supplies. Being (almost) in cider country this seemed like an appropriate choice of accompanying beverage.
After lunch I went for a more thorough wander around the stone circle. Probably Late Neolithic or early Bronze Age, apparently.
It is clearly less grand and impressive than, say, Avebury or Stonehenge, but nonetheless it had a certain charm.
...and it's always nice to be around megaliths regardless.
The view from inside the King's Men to the south.
Looking through thr hole in one of the stones.
A nice day for it as well - if only the weather had been like this last weekend for the summer solstice!
Some sort of votive offering?
After my stroll around the stones I sat for a little while longer to finish my cider.
I attempted to do a panorama shot of the whole stone circle - not sure how this is going to come out.
A few final photos of the King's Men before I headed on.
Next up was the King Stone, apparently the newest of the three monuments making up the Rollright Stones, most likely Bronze Age.
Nice views to be had from here.
The sign for the Rollright Stones.
Heading over to the Whispering Knights now.
The Whispering Knights - probably the oldest of the three monuments, an early/middle Neotlithic era dolmen. Lovely skies overhead now.
Nice views from here as well.
More votive offerings perhaps?
I was keen to crack on, as I wanted to get the train back from Kingham just after 3pm, and I had a good few miles to cover. Conveniently the permissive footpath leading to the Whispering Knights also connects with the D'Arcy Dalton / Shakespeare's Way, and this would take me a good chunk of the way to Kingham.
Evidence that I was on the D'Arcy Dalton Way, as I was passing through the tiny hamlet of Little Rollright.
Nice iron gate beyond Little Rollright.
Open fields between Little Rollright and Salford.
A wooded section, of which I was quite grateful, as it was suprisingly sunny by now.
Some sort of fungus here.
A stream running past the edge of the wood.
On the edge of the village of Salford now - I thought this house looked rather nice, all covered in some creeping greenery.
Alas the Salford Inn was closed.
Beyond Salford I could have followed more of the D'Arcy Dalton Way, but it seemed a lot more direct to just follow the road.
After a section of road I then had this pleasant track for a while.
...and then a bit of road...
...and then back onto a track again.
Eventually I reached Kingham, which all looked very gentrified - even the village shop looked quite manicured.
A rather grand house in Kingham.
Kingham station, however, is some way out of the village. I thought I had hit upon a great idea to take a short cut for the final half a mile or so through this open access woodland.
...which was pleasantly cool and shady.
I think at least some of the wood used to be a branch line from Kingham to Chipping Norton - so presumably this ruined building was something like a signal box?
My clever shortcut slightly fell down near the end as there wasn't actually any easy access from the wood to the station, despite directly adjoining it. Anyway, with a bit of, errr, creative navigation, I managed to make it onto the platform at Kingham in good time for the train back to London.