The King’s Men
At present there are 77 stones of heavily weathered local oolitic limestone, which were poetically described by William Stukeley as being “corroded like worm eaten wood, by the harsh Jaws of Time”, which made “a very noble, rustic, sight, and strike an odd terror upon the spectators, and admiration at the design of ‘em”.
Aubrey Burl has, in a more down to earth way, called the Rollrights “seventy-seven stones, stumps and lumps of leprous limestone”. This number seems to have altered considerably over the years - drawings from the tail-end of the 19th century, just before the Stones were scheduled under the 1882 Ancient Monuments Protection Act along with Stonehenge and Avebury, show about 25 stones in the Circle. “In the year 1882 the proprietor of Little Rollright replaced all the fallen stones in their original foundation.”
The Rollright Stone Circle is the southerly cousin of the Cumbrian circles such as Swinside and Long Meg and her Daughters in the English Lake District. Family traits include similar size, shape, close-set stones (it is believed that there originally some 105 stones standing shoulder to shoulder), astronomically-aligned entrance and a pair of outlying portals where gates were hung to stop the sheep from straying into the road.