The Stonehenge of Cheese

June 22, 2017

The Longest Day

Take a trip to middle England and discover a rip snorting Francophile soft cheese, made 75 metres from traitorous Knights, Loyal soldiers, and a King turned to stone.

Little Rollright stones

In the village of Little Rollright, near Chipping Norton, on the border of Oxfordshire and Warwickshire,  sits Kings Stone Farm. Five generations of the Haine family have raised dairy cattle on rich clover pasture, within touching distance of an ancient Bronze Age Stone Circle. Named after the famous stones, Rollright Cheese is a washed rind French classic, packing a bovine odour, a rich buttery texture and an ooze that sees it dripping over the plate, demanding your palate’s full attention. Drunk with a Burgundy of suitable nobility, a wet summer solstice can be transformed into a reverie of past kings searching for a kingdom.

Some say that not far from these beautifully placed stones still lives a colony of white witches. A local story about the Rollright Stones goes like this:

A king was riding across the county with his army when he was accosted by a local witch who said to him;

 "Seven long strides thou shalt take, says she
And if Long Compton thou canst see,
King of England thou shalt be!

His troops gathered in a circle to discuss the challenge and his knights muttered amongst themselves– but the king boldly took seven steps forward.

Rising ground blocked his view of Long Compton in the valley and the witch cackled:

As Long Compton thou canst not see, King of England thou shalt not be! Rise up stick and stand still stone, For King of England thou shalt be none; Thou and thy men hoar stones shall be, And I myself an elder tree!

The king became the solitary King Stone, while nearby his soldiers formed a cromlech, or circle, called the King's Men. As the witch prepared to turn herself into an elder tree, she backtracked into four of the king's knights, who had lagged behind and were whispering plots against the king. She turned them to stone as well, and today they are called the Whispering Knights."

Rollright cheese has won numerous awards including Gold medal at the British Cheese Awards. Order online from the Cotswold Cheese Company

Pics courtesy of English Heritage and Cotswold Cheese Company.

Rollright Cheese

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