Plaque unveiled to Eynesbury Giant

A PLAQUE dedicated to Eynesbury s most famous residents, James Toller, the Eynesbury Giant, has been unveiled in the town. The commemorative plaque was unveiled by St Neots mayor, Cllr Gordon Thorpe on August 28 – the date of the giant s birthday. The me

A PLAQUE dedicated to Eynesbury's most famous residents, James Toller, the Eynesbury Giant, has been unveiled in the town.

The commemorative plaque was unveiled by St Neots mayor, Cllr Gordon Thorpe on August 28 - the date of the giant's birthday.

The memorial has been installed adjacent to the former residence of the Toller family in St Mary's Street.

It was organised by the Eynesbury Village Association (EVA) in partnership with St Neots Local History Society and St Neots Town Council.

Mr Toller, who was born in Abbotsley in August 1798, moved with his parents to Eynesbury shortly after his birth.

He was reported to have grown to 5ft 5in tall by the time he was 10.

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In 1815 he was exhibited in London and presented to the Emperor of Russia and the King of Prussia.

He eventually shot up to be a very substantial 8ft 1.5in tall, but died at the age of 21.

He was buried underneath Eynesbury Parish Church to thwart any potential body snatchers.

Relatives of Mr Toller also attended the unveiling of the plaque, including Michelle Bullivant.

Ms Bullivant, who lives in Cambridge, said: "I'm so pleased that our family have been recognised in this way.

"We believe James would have kept growing, and died of an illness known as 'giantism'."

She added that the family have retained some 'giant' features. She said some family members have Toller toes (long toes) and that some of her cousins, who are just teenagers, have already grown to more than 6tft tall.

James Corley, on behalf of EVA, said the plaque signalled the start of the re-establishing of Eynesbury's identity.

He said: "This unique former resident of Eynesbury is becoming a symbol for the regeneration of the Eynesbury neighbourhood.

"Over-whelmed by piecemeal development and somewhat neglected by town and district councils, Eynesbury has become a suburb of the town of St Neots.

"Eynesbury is now set to re-establish its own identity.

"The Eynesbury Giant ceremony is a signpost for re-establishing Eynesbury identity, creating a vibrant community and neighbourhood.

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