World Conker Championships, Ashton, Northants, England.

Conker… (US)  Horse Chestnut (non Edible)

The height of the conker season is approaching weeks earlier than usual with predictions of a bumper crop caused by a mild spring followed by a hot but damp summer.

A picturesque corner of Northamptonshire hosts the World Conker Championships on the second Sunday in October every year. Thousands flock to the venue near the ancient market town of Oundle to watch this great spectacle as modern day gladiators fight for glory armed only with a nut and 12" of string.

It is thought that conkers probably evolved from a game called ‘conquerors’, which is thought to have originally been played with snail shells.

Historical records show the game also used hazelnuts but by the 20th century they had been replaced by horse chestnuts.

Photo: Conkers – Horse Chestnuts, Dingle Woods, Aldridge, Walsall, England.

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