These chestnut trees do not produce the edible nuts we roast at Christmas. These wild, or horse, chestnuts produce the big shiny 'conkers' that children collect in the autumn for the game of conkers. They bore a hole through the nut, and put a string through the hole.
When they play, two children take it in turns to swing the string and bash their conker against the opponent's. The first conker to shatter is the loser. A large and durable nut which has been the conqueror (the derivation of the name) in several matches, is a treasured and sought-after possession. Children become very skilled when they are collecting the conkers at recognising the hard centred ones which will be winners.