How much is that worth today?

1936 George V penny
1936 George V penny

Running a local history website I am often asked 'How much is that worth today?' This is not the straight forward question that it seems at first sight. A lot depends on the context of the enquiry and the underlying figures used in the calculations, and pressures caused by floods, famines, wars and pestilence. The further you go back in time the less raw data is available so it is not surprising that the figures do not give a smooth line if plotted on a graph.

Rather than trying to do all the research and complicated sums we have used the following website (External links open in a new windows.) when compiling the table shown below. give two answers depending on what you are trying to achieve. One is for people who just want to know how much something (say a loaf of bread) costs in today's money, and is based on the Retail Price Index. The other is for people who want to know how affordable something was and is based on average wages. Their website is well worth a visit and explains more fully why they use these two measures.

The National Archives also has a 'currency converter' but don't be surprised that the two sites produce different figures.

Page researched by Peter Reed 2009

Purchasing Power of £1 compared to 2007 values
Figures supplied by:
Lawrence H. Officer, "Purchasing Power of British Pounds from 1264 to 2007," Measuring Worth, 2008.
Year RPI Average Earnings Comments
  Use for "buying a loaf of
bread" type of questions
Use for how "affordable"
this would be to the average
person type questions
1275 £355.39 £11,822.40  
1300 £390.93 £10,010.23 Great Famine 1315-1322
1325 £303.93 £7,865.52  
1350 £430.26 £6,987.23 Black Death 1348/9
1375 £304.03 £5,067.60 Peasants Revolt 1381
1400 £400.78 £5,283.69  
1425 £472.29 £4,958.07  
1450 £520.14 £5,246.55 Wars of the Roses 1455
1475 £549.74 £4,755.63 Plague 1498
1500 £501.55 £4,755.63  
1525 £466.79 £4,755.63 Reformation 1534
1550 £243.02 £3,780.97  
1575 £184.16 £2,441.86 First Treaty of Nonsuch 1585 / London Plague 1592–1594
1600 £141.16 £1,947.48 Gunpowder Plot 1605
1625 £138.24 £1,776.22  
1650 £87.99 £1,533.37 Plague 1665 / Fire of London 1666
1675 £125.66 £1,449.82  
1700 £130.43 £1,604.57 Bank of England Formed 1694
1725 £123.10 £1,572.26 South Sea Bubble 1720
1750 £138.67 £1,445.15  
1775 £97.63 £1,312.79 First cotton mill 1771
1800 £52.03 £769.62 Corn Laws 1815
1825 £66.59 £776.42 Railway Age starts 1825 / Met Police Formed 1829
1836 £75.52 £784.33 Cholera 1832 / Epsom's New Work House started 1836
1850 £82.37 £746.30 Penny Post starts 1840 / Irish potato famine 1845
1875 £67.55 £502.61  
1900 £77.58 £421.01  
1914 £68.80 £360.15 WW1 Starts
1918 £34.91 £172.39 WW1 Ends / Flu Pandemic
1925 £40.88 £181.88  
1939 £44.44 £169.89 WW2 Starts
1945 £30.93 £97.90 WW2 Ends
1950 £24.69 £73.23  
1975 £6.04 £9.51  
2000 £1.21 £1.31  

Old coinage

Value of some pre decimal coins used in England:

Angel / Noble = 6s.8d (33.3p)
Crown (post 1551*) = 5s. (25p)
Farthing = 0.25d (1/960 of £1)
Florin = 2s. = 24d (10p)
Groat = 4d (1.5p)
Guinea (post 1717*) = £1 1s. (£1.05)
Half Crown (post 1551*) = 2s.6d (12½p)
Half-Penny 0.5d = (1/480 of £1)
Mark (Not an English Coin*) = 13s.4d (66.6p)
Ora (Not an English Coin) = 16d (6.6p)
Pence (Post Decimal) = 2.4d (1p)
Penny (Pre Decimal) = 1d (0.5p strictly 1/240 of £1)
Ryal (also known as a Rose Nobel or Royal)= 10s. (50p)
Shilling (also known as a Bob)= 1s. = 12d (5p)
Sixpence (also known as a Tanner) / Helm = 6d (2½p)
Sovereign (post 1817*) / Unite / Pound = £1
Threepenny piece = 3d (1p strictly 3/240 of £1)
(* = some coins had different values at different times)

Decimal Currency Conversion Table

Prior to decimalisation (15 February 1971) £1 = 20s. = 240d
s.d p s.d p s.d p s.d p
1d ½p 5s.1d 25½p 10s.1d 50½p 15s.1d 75½p
2d 1p 5s.2d 26p 10s.2d 51p 15s.2d 76p
3d 1p 5s.3d 26p 10s.3d 51p 15s.3d 76p
4d 1½p 5s.4d 26½p 10s.4d 51½p 15s.4d 76½p
5d 2p 5s.5d 27p 10s.5d 52p 15s.5d 77p
6d 2½p 5s.6d 27½p 10s.6d 52½p 15s.6d 77½p
7d 3p 5s.7d 28p 10s.7d 53p 15s.7d 78p
8d 3½p 5s.8d 28½p 10s.8d 53½p 15s.8d 78½p
9d 4p 5s.9d 29p 10s.9d 54p 15s.9d 79p
10d 4p 5s.10d 29p 10s.10d 54p 15s.10d 79p
11d 4½p 5s.11d 29½p 10s.11d 54½p 15s.11d 79½p
1s.0d 5p 6s.0d 30p 11s.0d 55p 16s.0d 80p
1s.1d 5½p 6s.1d 30½p 11s.1d 55½p 16s.1d 80½p
1s.2d 6p 6s.2d 31p 11s.2d 56p 16s.2d 81p
1s.3d 6p 6s.3d 31p 11s.3d 56p 16s.3d 81p
1s.4d 6½p 6s.4d 31½p 11s.4d 56½p 16s.4d 81½p
1s.5d 7p 6s.5d 32p 11s.5d 57p 16s.5d 82p
1s.6d 7½p 6s.6d 32½p 11s.6d 57½p 16s.6d 82½p
1s.7d 8p 6s.7d 33p 11s.7d 58p 16s.7d 83p
1s.8d 8½p 6s.8d 33½p 11s.8d 58½p 16s.8d 83½p
1s.9d 9p 6s.9d 34p 11s.9d 59p 16s.9d 84p
1s.10d 9p 6s.10d 34p 11s.10d 59p 16s.10d 84p
1s.11d 9½p 6s.11d 34½p 11s.11d 59½p 16s.11d 84½p
2s.0d 10p 7s.0d 35p 12s.0d 60p 17s.0d 85p
2s.1d 10½p 7s.1d 35½p 12s.1d 60½p 17s.1d 85½p
2s.2d 11p 7s.2d 36p 12s.2d 61p 17s.2d 86p
2s.3d 11p 7s.3d 36p 12s.3d 61p 17s.3d 86p
2s.4d 11½p 7s.4d 36½p 12s.4d 61½p 17s.4d 86½p
2s.5d 12p 7s.5d 37p 12s.5d 62p 17s.5d 87p
2s.6d 12½p 7s.6d 37½p 12s.6d 62½p 17s.6d 87½p
2s.7d 13p 7s.7d 38p 12s.7d 63p 17s.7d 88p
2s.8d 13½p 7s.8d 38½p 12s.8d 63½p 17s.8d 88½p
2s.9d 14p 7s.9d 39p 12s.9d 64p 17s.9d 89p
2s.10d 14p 7s.10d 39p 12s.10d 64p 17s.10d 89p
2s.11d 14½p 7s.11d 39½p 12s.11d 64½p 17s.11d 89½p
3s.0d 15p 8s.0d 40p 13s.0d 65p 18s.0d 90p
3s.1d 15½p 8s.1d 40½p 13s.1d 65½p 18s.1d 90½p
3s.2d 16p 8s.2d 41p 13s.2d 66p 18s.2d 91p
3s.3d 16p 8s.3d 41p 13s.3d 66p 18s.3d 91p
3s.4d 16½p 8s.4d 41½p 13s.4d 66½p 18s.4d 91½p
3s.5d 17p 8s.5d 42p 13s.5d 67p 18s.5d 92p
3s.6d 17½p 8s.6d 42½p 13s.6d 67½p 18s.6d 92½p
3s.7d 18p 8s.7d 43p 13s.7d 68p 18s.7d 93p
3s.8d 18½p 8s.8d 43½p 13s.8d 68½p 18s.8d 93½p
3s.9d 19p 8s.9d 44p 13s.9d 69p 18s.9d 94p
3s.10d 19p 8s.10d 44p 13s.10d 69p 18s.10d 94p
3s.11d 19½p 8s.11d 44½p 13s.11d 69½p 18s.11d 94½p
4s.0d 20p 9s.0d 45p 14s.0d 70p 19s.0d 95p
4s.1d 20½p 9s.1d 45½p 14s.1d 70½p 19s.1d 95½p
4s.2d 21p 9s.2d 46p 14s.2d 71p 19s.2d 96p
4s.3d 21p 9s.3d 46p 14s.3d 71p 19s.3d 96p
4s.4d 21½p 9s.4d 46½p 14s.4d 71½p 19s.4d 96½p
4s.5d 22p 9s.5d 47p 14s.5d 72p 19s.5d 97p
4s.6d 22½p 9s.6d 47½p 14s.6d 72½p 19s.6d 97½p
4s.7d 23p 9s.7d 48p 14s.7d 73p 19s.7d 98p
4s.8d 23½p 9s.8d 48½p 14s.8d 73½p 19s.8d 98½p
4s.9d 24p 9s.9d 49p 14s.9d 74p 19s.9d 99p
4s.10d 24p 9s.10d 49p 14s.10d 74p 19s.10d 99p
4s.11d 24½p 9s.11d 49½p 14s.11d 74½p 19s.11d 99½p
5s.0d 25p 10s.0d 50p 15s.0d 75p £1.0s.0d £1.00