The Whispering Knights

Talking about the Devil’s Fingers, Mr. Goldney, of the archeological society, says, “It’s an interesting little site. Not up to the The Whispering Knights, where I was last month. That’s an altogether grander affair. Still, we have to be grateful for what we have in our neighborhood.’
Jenkins asks, ” Why is it called The Whispering Knights? I’ve heard the name, but never been there.”
“During a battle some knights were standing apart, plotting against their king. A witch passed, and turned them into stone for their treachery.” [HSH 160/172]

The Whispering Knights
Neolithic portal dolmen
Great and Little Rollright, Oxfordshire
photo by Midnightblueowl by Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license via Wikimedia.org

The Devil’s Fingers is supposed to be one of the many stone monuments found throughout Britain. One example is The Whispering Knights, four upright stones and a fallen capstone, that mark a burial site in Oxfordshire. The Knights grave site is thought to have been placed five to six thousand years ago. Nearby are slightly newer Neolithic monuments, The King Stone and a circle of 77 stones known as The King’s Men.

Jenkins is visiting the Devil’s Fingers on the morning after Midsummer’s Eve, which was the classic time for pagan celebrations at sites like The Whispering Nights (Jacobs et al., “Devil’s Stones and Midnight Rites: Megaliths, Folklore, and Contemporary Pagan Witchcraft” Folklore 2014; 125:60-71) In the mid-twentieth century, Wiccan cults would meet at these stones for naked rituals to the Horned God, perhaps similar to the horned stag-mask dance that Gwinett saw Scorp Murtlock and his followers perform.  [HSH 152-157/164-169].

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