A lock of Florence Nightingale's hair could fetch up to £3,000 when it goes under the hammer next month.

The portion of The Lady with a Lamp's Locks is believed to have been cut in 1883, when she was 63.

She helped create the modern techniques of nursing and led a team of nurses who helped wounded soldiers during the Crimean War in 1853 to 1856.

It was given to the pioneering nurse's sister Frances Parthenope and passed down through her husband Sir Harry Verney's family.

It will be sold at Tennants Auctioneers in Leyburn, North Yorkshire on July 13 and is expected to fetch £2,000 to £3,000.

Auctioneer Jane Tennant says the hair is an 'extraordinary piece of history' that 'rarely comes onto the open market.'

(Image: SWNS)

She said: "As auctioneers, we have the pleasure of handling some extraordinary pieces of history – and this lock of Florence Nightingale’s hair is no exception. 

"Whilst she is best remembered in the popular imagination for her work caring for soldiers in the Crimea, she dedicated her life to campaigning for women’s rights and access to healthcare for all.  "She remains an inspiring figure today, and such a personal piece of her memorabilia, with such strong provenance, rarely comes onto the open market."

The hair will be sold alongside an example of her signature and a leather-bound copy of the 'Order for the Burial of the Dead', that was published for her funeral.

It will also be sold with a miniature copy of The Book of Job inscribed "Henry Verney from Miss Nightingale Embley April 1862."