Ribwort plantain (Plantago lanceolata)
 

Collins, 232; Readers Digest, 306

This medium-sized perennial, to the careful eye, is extremely handsome when in flower.  The flowers are brown, in short black spikes and the anthers are pale yellow.  It appears from April through to October in grassy places and verges.  There are good examples in the verge at Hassel Street.  The plant is very common and able to survive grazing in pasture.  Using the stalks held in the hand, children still play games with this plant, similar to conkers. 

See also: http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/p/plarib48.html