In 2011 Professor Heather Viles of the School of Earth Sciences at Oxford University offered to investigate the Rollright Stones as part of an ongoing study of the rate of natural erosion of limestone.
The resultant report by her and colleagues Guo Fang and Tristan Sharples of the Oxford Rock Breakdown Laboratory provided the first scientific insight into how the stones have weathered before and after they were erected to form the King’s Men stone circle. Their observations indicate that the stones have probably lost 3-10cm depth of material since the circle was created through dissolution by rainwater. Much of the highly pitted and fissured texture of the stones is the product of previous natural processes when they lay on the ground as exposed boulders. There is evidence of more recent frost action and other cracking on some stones.
To read the Rollright weathering report, click on the link below to download the relevant pdf.
The condition of the stones in the Kings Men stone circle was systematically assessed in 2015 by a specialist consultant, Steve Sheath of Cliveden Conservation Workshop Ltd., as part of a project to repair damage to one of the stones. The first of its kind, its sets a benchmark identifying the most vulnerable stones and setting a benchmark for monitoring their condition. To read this report, refer to the article [LINK HERE]