A mystery bidder has bought the stuffed pike caught near Devizes over 50 years ago and the price was more than expected.

The successful buyer, who has asked to remain anonymous, paid £2,160 at the auction held by Bonhams at Henley on Thames in Oxfordshire on Saturday.

The pike is considered to be one of the most valuable fish ever caught in the Devizes area.

Weighing 17 pounds and four ounces, it was caught by angler Brian Hill in the Kennet and Avon at Seend in November 1955 and won the Devizes Angling Association's coveted Pike Cup.

Mr Hill, formerly of Sidmouth Street, Devizes and now living in north Devon, splashed out more than a week's wages - it cost him £17 when the average wage was just over £11 - to have the pike stuffed for posterity.

Astutely Mr Hill chose J.Cooper and Sons of Hounslow, Middlesex, who were regarded as top name fish taxidermists.

The Devizes pike is a good example of the company's so called late period which for serious collectors is particularly desirable. The fish was expected to fetch between £1,500 and £2,000.