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Toddington Conger Hill

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Gayer's Hill

In the civil parish of Toddington.
In the historic county of Bedfordshire.
Modern Authority of Bedfordshire.
1974 county of Bedfordshire.
Medieval County of Bedfordshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: TL01132891
Latitude 51.94954° Longitude -0.52984°

Toddington Conger Hill has been described as a certain Timber Castle, and also as a Masonry Castle although is doubtful that it was such.

There are earthwork remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


Conger Hill, a motte, having a great round moat 30ft to 32ft wide and 5ft to 6ft deep entirely encircling it and traces of an outer moat, 12ft wide and 2ft deep on the outside. The motte rises 18ft above the present bottom of the moat and has a flat top 92ft in diameter without trace of a rampart. The top is mutilated by digging, and the ditch and slopes in the SE are mutilated by a footpath. There is no trace of stonework, and no finds are known to have been made. The bank and ditch skirting the E and SE side of the motte which was described as an "outer moat", does not connect with the motte, and is unlikely to be associated. It is probably a later field boundary. The castle is identified as the stronghold of Sir Paulinus Pegure in C13. The name Conger Hill is recorded from 1597 and it has been considered that the name may be a corruption of an earlier Celtic British name. The mound was used in C16 as a rabbit warren. A more likely interpretation of the name is as a reference to the use of the site as a rabbit warren (from Middle English 'coneygar' or rabbit warren). (PastScape)

A local Shrove Tuesday custom was focused on Conger Hill. The ringing of a bell would signal all the village children to run to the mound, lay down on the top or side of it and put their ears to the ground to hear the sizzle of a witch cooking her pancakes inside it. The custom was recently discontinued (Viner 1997, 5). (Extensive Urban Survey p. 14)
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:02

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