Police threw up a 100-metre cordon after the discovery was made near Water Lane at about 8.40am. The device was spotted on a patch land behind the Three Swans Pub on Church Hill. The post office, library and local shops were evacuated.
But police later confirmed the item was “non-ammunition” and looked like a hydraulic pump from a car.
The cordons and road closures have now been lifted and members of the public have been told they can return to the area.
Workman Sam Jagger, who was digging the land behind the pub, said: “It was just under the soil. My foreman came out and said better safe than sorry and phoned police who said it looks bad so radioed through to the bomb squad.
“I picked it up and threw it in the air. I didn’t think anything of it,” he said.