The skull of an executed Chippenham felon sold at auction for £2,500 yesterday.

It was that of 36-year-old John Parker, who was born in the parish of Langley and hanged at Gloucestor Gaol in the early 19th century for a house burglary in Bristol.

It had been privately owned by a natural history collector for 30 years and was part of the Garden, Design and Natural History auction at Summer Place Auctions and had a guide price of £2,000 to £3,000.

Auctioneers said it was sold to a bidder on the internet.

The 12ins skull is inscribed with “John Parker hanged for robbing Henbury Church and De Boudrie’s school”.

It had been partially cut away to serve as an anatomical specimen.