Things to do now I’m 50

March 17, 2011

Image Credit: Lake Sider of rehabilitated squirrel, Rocky, in a horse chestnut tree.

Interesting facts about Conkers

Britain is believed to be the only country in the world where the game of conkers is traditionally played with horse chestnuts in the autumn.

Horse chestnut trees were first introduced to England in the late 16th century from Eastern Europe.

Horse chestnut conkers, unlike many other kinds of chestnut seed, are unfit for human consumption.

Conkers are edible by deer, cattle and not surprisingly, horses.

The first recorded game of conkers was on the Isle of Wight in 1848 and was modelled on a 15th century game played with hazelnuts, also known as cobnuts.

The origin of the name ‘conker’ is unclear, but one popular explanation is that it stems from the French word cogner, meaning to “hit” or “biff”.

Extracts from horse chestnuts have been used to treat malaria, varicose veins, diarrhoea, frostbite and ringworm, as well as being a component of sunscreen products.

World Conker Championships Website



  1. Happy Birthday to you! The Big Five Oh, eh? Enjoy it!

    When we were in Italy a few years ago, it was October and the chestnuts were falling off the trees. We could hear them hitting our car which we’d parked under a canopy of chestnuts. Took us a while to figure out what the noise was! So yes, “conkers” is the perfect name for this nut.

  2. Thanks Deb!

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