The King Stone Long Compton, and its Legends

The King Stone, Rollright stones
Photo © Rob Farrow (cc-by-sa/2.0) originally uploaded to

A story says that a farmer called Humphrey Boffin took took the King Stone to either build a footbridge or dam a water course in his farm yard. It took either six or eight horses (according to one account they were sweating and terrified) to get it downhill to its destination and even then the traces broke.

Struggling to build a bridge

According to the story where he tried to build a bridge out of it, it would not stay in place and every morning was found on the grass by the bridge which it was meant to be a part of. After that he decided to return it. Despite the fact that the route back was uphill, it only took one horse to return it to its rightful place!

Legendary tales

It is said that people from the locality of Long Compton used to stand round the King Stone, up until the 19th century, on St. John’s Eve. Someone would make a cut in a nearby elder tree and it would bleed. At this point the King Stone would bow his head. The fact that no one in living memory could testify to this made no difference!

Beware of doubting this though: an old story tells of a sceptical nobleman who thrust his sword into the elder tree to demonstrate to the locals that it was all nonsense. However blood poured from the sword thrust, the tree screamed and he went mad for the rest of his life. So be warned! It is thought that this may have originally been associated with some kind of ancient blood letting rite to ensure the fertility of the land. Although as time went by this original meaning was lost.


“Folklore of Warwickshire” by Roy Palmer
“Haunted Warwickshire” by Meg Elizabeth Atkins
“Folklore in Shakespeare Land” by J Harvey Bloom

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