The Viking Ship?

There is an unusual shaped mound with trees growing on it on the outskirts of the town of Congleton, it can be found in the centre of a field known as Babstocks meadow. There has been plenty of speculation over the years as to what this strange shaped mound could have been. One theory is that the mound was used at one time for the keeping of rabbits, the mound would have provided a home for them and the field in those days would have been mainly underwater, this would have made the mound an island which would have stopped the rabbits escaping, the rabbits would have provided a valuable food source for the landowner.

Another theory is that in the past the Vikings were thought by some people to have travelled as far as Congleton using the river Dane, in those days much of Congleton and the surrounding area would have been marsh land and a much wetter place than it is today. The river Dane would have been much bigger and it would have been navigable by boats all the way from the sea to Congleton.

The name Babstock is ancient Norwegian which means “flooded meadow” and is one of only two places in the area which has an ancient Norwegian name. The story claims that a Viking Chief known as Toxy was forced out of Ireland with his men, he sailed across the Irish sea and landed at a place called Toxsteth which was named after him. Tox was derived from his name and steth means landing place in ancient Norwegian.

Toxy and his men then sailed up the river Mersey in their Viking Longship and then joined the river Weaver and carried on sailing up this river destroying many encampments along the way, eventually he reached Congleton by sailing up the river Dane until he could travel no more due to the river becoming smaller and unnavigable. There is no record of Toxy leaving the area and it is speculated that he is buried along with his longship in the centre of Babstock meadow, hence the strange boat shaped mound.

Under the topsoil of the mound can be found rocks which appear to have been placed there as if to cover over something, perhaps to conceal the remains of Toxy and his longship? As to the trees growing on the mound, they are something of a more recent addition to the landscape and are probably no more than 150 years old, they were probably planted there on purpose, which is a shame as it would make an archeological dig more difficult.

2 Responses to “The Viking Ship?”

  1. Hi Gary, thanks for the info on this and for the site in general. My dad has often mentioned this mound, and I think it was a school teacher who brought this mound to his attention. I don’t have any info on this, all I know is that it’s definitely come under a lot of speculation.

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