Toddington Conger Hill

Has been described as a Certain Timber Castle (Motte), and also as a Certain Masonry Castle

There are earthwork remains

NameToddington Conger Hill
Alternative NamesGayer's Hill
Historic CountryBedfordshire
Modern AuthorityBedfordshire
1974 AuthorityBedfordshire
Civil ParishToddington

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)

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceTL011289
Latitude51.9495391845703
Longitude-0.529839992523193
Eastings501130
Northings228910
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink

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Books

  • Petre, James Scott, 2012, The Castles of Bedfordshire (Lavenham: Lavenham Press for Shaun Tyas) p. 80-81
  • Lowerre, A.G., 2005, Placing Castles in the Conquest. Landscape, Lordship and Local Politics in the South-Eastern Midlands, 1066-1100 (Oxford: John and Erica Hedges Ltd: BAR British Series 385) p. 225
  • Salter, Mike, 2002, The Castles of The Thames Valley and The Chilterns (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 17
  • Viner, J., 1997, A Stroll through Old Toddington (Toddington Historical Society)
  • Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 4 (slight)
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1 p. 7
  • Pevsner, N., 1968, The Buildings of England: Bedfordshire, Huntingdon and Peterborough (Harmondsworth) p. 157
  • Wadmore, Beauchamp, 1920, The Earthworks of Bedfordshire (Bedford) p. 135-7
  • Page, Wm (ed), 1912, 'Parishes: Toddington' VCH Bedfordshire Vol. 3 p. 438-47 (manorial history only) online transcription
  • Harvey, Alfred, 1911, Castles and Walled Towns of England (London: Methuen and Co)
  • Goddard, A.R., 1904, 'Ancient Earthworks' in Doubleday, H.Arthur and Page, Wm (eds), VCH Bedfordshire Vol. 1 p. 286-7
  • Mackenzie, J.D., 1897, Castles of England Vol. 1 p. 139 online copy

Journals

  • Hitchcock, 1992, Journal of the Manshead Archaeological Society of Dunstable Vol. 32 p. 10
  • Baker, D., 1982, 'Mottes, Moats and ringworks in Bedfordshire: Beauchamp Wadmore revisited' Ch√Ęteau Gaillard Vol. 9-10 p. 35-54 (plan)
  • Dyer, J.F., 1962-3, 'Bedfordshire Earthworks VIII, The Castles: Part One' Bedfordshire magazine Vol. 8 no. 63 p. 348-9
  • Clark, G.T., 1889, 'Contribution towards a complete list of moated mounds or burhs' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 46 p. 197-217 esp. 200 online copy

Other

  • English Heritage, 2013, Heritage at Risk Register 2013 East of England (London: English Heritage) p. 16 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2012, Heritage at Risk Register 2012 East of England (London: English Heritage) p. 33 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2011, Heritage at Risk Register 2011 East of England (London: English Heritage) p. 32 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2010, Heritage at Risk Register 2010 East of England (London: English Heritage) p. 29 online copy
  • English Heritage, 2009, Heritage at Risk Register 2009 East of England (London: English Heritage) p. 40 online copy
  • Lowerre, A.G., 2004, Placing Castles in the Conquest. Landscape, Lordship and Local Politics in the South-Eastern Midlands, 1066-1100 (PhD thesis: Boston College) p. 475-6
  • Albion Archaeology, 2003 (edited January 2005), Extensive Urban Survey - Bedfordshire and Luton (Bedfordshire County Council and English Heritage) Download copy
  • English Heritage Scheduling Revision Notification letter 29th Sept 1994