The Devil’s Quoits is a henge and stone circle, located just south of Stanton Harcourt village. Its name is derived from a local legend that the Devil once played quoits with a beggar for his soul, and won by tossing a great stone from the top of nearby Wytham Hill.
The henge dates from the late Neolithic Age, making it roughly 4,000-5,000 years old. The site consists of an outer henge, with a diameter of around 120 meters, surrounding a stone circle in a concentric ovoid shape.
Sandwiched in between a flooded gravel pit and an active landfill, it feels like a curiously functional spot to find such an ancient site. Indeed, the Devil’s Quoits has undergone many changes and acts of refurbishment over the years. The henge itself was severely damaged by airport construction during World War II, when the earthworks were largely flattened, and by gravel removal in the 1970s and 1980s. By the 20th century, all but one of the stones constituting the original stone circle had fallen over, and a number had disappeared entirely.
The Devil’s Quoits was carefully restored between 2002 and 2008, and new conglomerate stones from a quarry in nearby Ducklington were used to replace the stones that had gone missing.
Know Before You Go
If traveling by car then there is a small car park.