there used to be three circles in the area, but now just two survive, and Mitchell's
Fold is the best-known.
as you'd expect, there's a legend of how the stone circle came to be.
here to see our panoramic view from Mitchells Fold stone circle
ago a great drought hit the country, drying up wells, causing crops to fail and
causing the death of the livestock that people depended on.
a kind witch took pity on the starving people and provided a magic cow, which
was kept on Stapeley Hill.
cow had a seemingly inexhaustable supply of milk and would produce enough for
everyone who came to her - as long as they only took one bucket to be filled.
this good deed attracted the attention of a bad witch determined to ruin it for
bad witch visited the cow at midnight and attempted to milk her into a sieve.
The cow gave enough milk to fill the bucket over and over again as the witch went
the cow was a little confused by this, and when a great storm broke over the hill,
she looked around. By the light of a lightning flash the cow saw a great pool
of wasted milk on the ground.
she had been fooled, the cow kicked out at the witch and galloped away, never
to be seen again.
next morning, the locals arrived with their buckets to find the cow had gone.
But they realised what had happened when they saw the sieve and the spilt milk.
also found the bad witch - she'd been turned into stone as punishment.
people set a ring of stones around her petrified body to stop her from escaping.
legend of the witch and the marvellous cow has been literally set in stone - it
was carved in 1879 around a sandstone pillar in Middleton Church, which is near
reality the stones were probably placed on Stapeley Hill by Bronze Age man - about
4,000 years ago.
there were once as many as 30 stones on the site, although there are less than
half that number left now. The tallest remaining stone today stands at six feet,
while some are just stumps sticking out of the ground.Nearby
lie the remains of another circle, the Hoarstones, and there used to be a third,
which was called The Whetstones and was supposedly destroyed in the 19th Century.