A penny found in Swindon could be worth much more than its face value - because it is more than 120 years old.

The old coin was found by parish council workers during excavations for a new litter bin in Pembroke Gardens.

The coin dates back to 1903 when Rodbourne Cheney and Haydon Wick were separate towns joined by a road at the site of the new bin.

Andy Reeves, Central Swindon North Parish Council clerk, said the find set his imagination going on Swindon life in the past.

(Image: Central Swindon North Parish Council)

He said: “We wondered whether it could have been a farm worker drop the coin. 

“We worked out it would have been worth quite a lot of money now so it would have been quite a loss for whoever dropped it.”

He suggested it could be worth £7, but online inflation calculators set its purchasing power today as about 54p.

The coins were used right up to the 1970s, but on Facebook, the council remarked: “‘Dropped by a lady going to Clive Parade KeyMarkets in 1970 to buy some ham’, didn’t have the same feel.”

Adam explained the separate parts of Swindon would have been separate villages then, surrounded by lots of farms and arable pasture.

Andy said historical finds like this are not uncommon. A 1920s Lyons Tea sign which was uncovered is now being exhibited at a St Margaret’s cafe.

(Image: Central Swindon North Parish Council)

Andy said: “Swindon’s obviously got a long rich history and we find earthenware, Victorian items during a car park laying in St Margarets.”

He continued: “It's always been interesting to find these things and to know what land was recently used for. In our part of the parish, particularly around St Margarets, you've got an industrial Victorian industry there right up until 1986.

“But on the periphery, there's much more of a rural history. And obviously people have been in Swindon long, long before it was Swindon.”

He said: “And also at Moredon Sporting Hub, just built, I know there were a lot of artefacts, much older, exceptionally old.”

He said the aim is to put artefacts on display. The definition of treasure was updated in July last year. 

Under the new criteria, most exceptional finds over 200 years old will be classed as treasure, so long as they provide an important insight into the country’s heritage.