The Town of Pontypridd


"PONTYPRIDD, late Newbridge, a small market town in the hundred of Miskin, county of Glamorgan; 13 miles S. from Merthyr Tydvil, and the same distance N.N.W. from Cardiff; situated on the line of the Taff Vale railway, for which this place is a station. The town is mainly supported by the extensive iron and coal works in its vicinity, which furnish employment to a large number of the industrious class; there are besides two chemical works, and the manufacture of flannel is carried on by a few others. ... A new church has been erected at Glyntaf, about a mile distant; previous to which, the only place of worship under the establishment, was three miles from the town. The living of Newbridge (or Pont y Pridd) is a vicarage, in the gift of the see of Llandaff. The Rev. John Griffiths, is the present vicar. There are places of worship for Baptists, Independents, Calvinists, Methodists and Roman Catholics. ... More " [Slaters Commercial Directory, 1858-1859]


Archives & Libraries

Library Road
CF37 2DY



An on-line index to the book The Old Photographs Series, Pontypridd has been provided by Jean Gilson.

Pontypridd at War 1939-45, the Second World War at home by Don Powell [1999]

Victorian Pontypridd and its villages by Don Powell [1996]


Business & Commerce Records

  • Brown, Lenox & Company Limited, chain manufacturers
    • 1812-1956: account book, technical data, letters relating to cables and anchors, order and rates of work books, correspondents, plans etc.
      [Glamorgan Archive Service, Cardiff - Reference: D/DBL]
    • 1883-91: forge account book and foreman's accounts
      [Glamorgan Archive Service, Cardiff - Reference: D/D Xab 2]
  • Great Western Colliery Company Limited
    • 1893, 1928-34: cost books, daily quantity records, minutes of meetings with men
      [Glamorgan Archive Service, Cardiff - Reference: D/D NCB]
    • 1865-1933: register of deeds and documents
      [Glamorgan Archive Service, Cardiff - Reference: D/D PD]
  • Metal Alloys (South Wales) Ltd, chromium manufacturers, aluminium and copper alloy manufacturers
    1939-70: ledger, accounts, deeds, papers
    [Glamorgan Archive Service, Cardiff]
  • Pontypridd Brewery Company Limited
    1891-92: minutes and ledger
    [Glamorgan Archive Service, Cardiff]
  • Pontypridd Freehold Land & Buildings Company Limited
    1887-1985: minutes, register of members, share ledger, register of mortgages, ledger, journal, annual reports and accounts
    [Enquiries to Business Archives Council, The Clove Building, 4 Maguire Street, Butler's Wharf, London SE1 2NQ - Reference: 562]
  • Pontypridd Gas Company
    1885-1949: plans, correspondents, registers of employees
    [Glamorgan Archive Service, Cardiff]
  • Pontypridd & Ogmore Railway Company
    1882-86: Parliamentary bill, estimate of expense, papers and deposited plans
    [Glamorgan Archive Service, Cardiff - Reference: 12/1]

Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales for the following;

  • Brown Lenox and Co. Ltd records c1950-1986 "The firm was established by Lieut (later Captain) Samuel Brown RN who patented a stud-link chain and formed a partnership in 1808 with his cousin Samuel Lenox which traded as Samuel Brown & Co until 1823. ....................................Brown formed a co-partnership in 1824 with Samuel Lenox of London, James Thomas Walker of Bethnal Green, and George William Lenox of Millwall. A site for their London works was obtained in 1813 at Millwall near the Royal Dockyard at Deptford. Their Pontypridd works were established at Tappenden's disused nail factory alongside the Glamorganshire Canal in Ynysangharad in 1818 and was initially known as 'Newbridge Chain Works'. The factory expanded rapidly through supplying cables and other equipment to the iron and coal industries, cables for suspension bridges, and through production of hooks, mechanical releases, mooring buoys, dock gear, pulleys and other devices and equipment for merchant shipping and marine services; its improved technology included use of steam for a Nasmyth steam hammer in 1842, general use of steam in 1853, and later electricity. A foundry with electric furnaces was installed in 1922. The firm's high-quality chains and cables led to their use by Isambard Kingdom Brunel for his ship the 'Great Eastern' 1858. The factory closed after clearance of most of its site in 1987. A summary of the history of the company and the Pontypridd works is given in Victorian Pontypridd by Don Powell (Merton Priory Press, Whitchurch, Cardiff 1996)."
  • Brown Lenox and Co. Ltd, records 1883-1891 "Accounts book of no. 4 hammer, 1883-1888, and foreman's accounts book, 1887-1891; illustration of Pontypridd Bridge"
  • Brown, Lenox & Co. Ltd, chainworks, Pontypridd records "......... 1745-1956, including deeds, bills, receipts and agreements, relating to the buildings and sites at both Millwall and Newbridge, 1813-1956; papers relating to management and labourers at Millwall and Newbridge, 1855-1918; account books, includes a ledger and a journal, 1823-1826; letters patent, 1815-1929; papers relating to chain cables and anchors etc., 1812-1925; papers relating to Admiralty anchors, 1852-1865; miscellaneous correspondence, includes letter from I. K. Brunel asking for the result of the proof of the new machine [sic], 1844-1927; photographs and plans, [c. 1830]-[c. 1930]; and general printed and miscellaneous material - includes Lloyds list"


The Glamorgan Family History Society have produced a set of microfiche containing Monumental Inscriptions for the following burial grounds :-

  • Sardis Congregational Church
  • Capel Rhondda Baptist Church

Church History

Various items - on the People's Collection Wales site

  • Interior of Tabernacl Welsh Baptist Chapel, Pontypridd (now Pontypridd Museum), showing the organ and pulpit
  • Penuel Chapel and drinking fountain, Pontypridd, c. 1910

Church Records

For full and up-to-date details of their holdings see the sites of Glamorgan Record Office and/or West Glamorgan Archives

Pontypridd consists of three modern parishes :

Non Conformist Registers Deposited
Chapel Baptisms Marriages Burials OS Map Ref Deposited
Tabernacle, Baptist - 1961-1981 - ST 07389044 GRO
Penuel, Calvinistic Methodist - 1929, 1936-1960 - ST 07269021 NLW
St. David's, Calvinistic Methodist - 1929 - ST 07179026 NLW
Sardis, Congregational - 1982 - ST 07118990 GRO
Gelliwastad Road, Wesleyan - 1933-1957 - ST 07219035 GRO

GRO - Glamorgan Record Office, Cardiff
NLW - National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth


Description & Travel

Description of Newbridge from A Topographical Dictionary of Wales (1833) by Samuel Lewis.

Pontytown Tales from the Riverbank - Pontypridd

Pontypridd - on the Rhondda Cynon Taf Libraries Heritage Trail site

Pontypridd Conservation Area - on RCT site

Various items - on the People's Collection Wales site

  • A view of the William Edwards bridge, Pontypridd 1800s
  • Various landscapes
You can see pictures of The Town of Pontypridd which are provided by:



Transcript of name listing for Pontypridd, and district, from Commercial and Trade Directories, for the years:-

1858-1859 (Slaters Directory) 1880 (Slaters Directory)



Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which The Town of Pontypridd has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.



From Kelly's South Wales Directory 1923 (ArchiveCDBooks) - transcribed by Gareth Hicks

  • The town is supplied with water by the Pontypridd and Rhondda Joint Water Board; the supply is obtained at the source of the Rhondda Fach river, above Mardy, about 12 miles from Pontypridd; there is a reservoir at Pontlluest-Wen, holding 22,000,000 gallons, and another, begun in 1895, was completed in 1900, and will hold 242,000,000 gallons.
  • The Pontypridd Gas Light and Coke Company was incorporated and works erected in 1850, but other works were established in 1894 at Treforest, and are under the control of the Urban District Council.
  • The Fire Brigade was established in 1890 and has a station in Gas road; there is electric communication from the police station to the firemen's houses.
  • The Cottage Hospital, on the Common, has 26 beds and four cots.

Various items - on the People's Collection Wales site

  • Edward VIII's visit to Pontypridd, 1930
  • Bridge Street and Old Bridge, Pontypridd c1913
  • The Maen Chwŷf and Gorsedd Stones, Pontypridd
  • Last train, with wreath, Pontypridd to Newport. 15 September 1956
  • Pontypridd in 1840
  • Pontypridd in 1890
  • A romantic view of Pontypridd's Old Bridge, by Henry Gastineau c1830, as early visitors would have seen it.
  • A short history of Pontypridd
  • The 'new' road bridge and the Old Bridge, Pontypridd, c. 1900
  • Drinking fountain, Taff Street, Pontypridd, c. 1890-1910
  • 'Panorama of Pontypridd', by William Williams, 1890s
  • Opening of Pontypridd electric tramway service, 1905
  • Taff Street, Pontypridd, late 19th century
  • Election campaign meeting at the Rocking Stone, Pontypridd, 1910


You can see maps centred on OS grid reference ST071902 (Lat/Lon: 51.602949, -3.34278), The Town of Pontypridd which are provided by:


Military History

Pontypridd Welsh Regimental war memorial - on the People's Collection Wales site


Names, Personal

  • Anwyl family of Chester and Pontypridd

1848-1983: correspondents and papers
[National Library of Wales, Department of Manuscripts and Records]



The Pontypridd Chronicle Jan 15 1881 - on the People's Collection Wales site



Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales for the following;

  • Miners' Agents' Papers "Goronwy R. Jones of Ynysybwl, and William J. Fortt, of Cilfynydd, were miners' agents in collieries around Pontypridd, Glamorgan in the 1950s-1960s. Jones had been expelled from the Labour Party in 1941 because of his association with the People's Vigilance Movement, and he subsequently joined the Communist Party.
    "Papers of Goronwy R. Jones, 1941-1969, including correspondence, 1941-1969, files relating to trade union activities at several collieries, 1958-1967, notes and notebooks, typescripts relating to the South Wales coal industry, 1962-1967, and printed items, 1958-1963; papers of William J. Fortt, 1958-1968, including papers relating to the South Wales coal industry and the South Wales Area of the National Union of Mineworkers, notes, drafts of speeches and press cuttings"

From Kelly's South Wales Directory 1923 (ArchiveCDBooks) - transcribed by Gareth Hicks

  • The chief manufacturing establishment in the neighbourhood is the Newbridge works of Messrs. Brown, Lenox and Co. Limited, anchor, chain and cable manufacturers; there are also several collieries in the neighbourhood, which give employment to the greater number of the inhabitants.

Various items - on the People's Collection Wales site

  • Black and white film negative of a photograph showing a surface view of Great Western Colliery, Pontypridd.
  • Arthur Lougher's butchers stall in Pontypridd Market, c. 1900
  • Horses shunting coal wagons at Tymawr colliery, Pantygraigwen, near Pontypridd, c. 1905
  • Members of the Glamorgan Constabulary 'B' or Pontypridd Division about to take part in the parade celebrating Pontypridd Civic Sunday in May 1930.
  • Old Pontypridd Police Station

Poor Houses, Poor Law

Pontypridd Workhouse - on Peter Higginbotham's site

Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales for the following;

  • Pontypridd Poor Law Union, and Workhouse/Public Assistance Institutions, and Cottage Homes, records 1863-1963 " .......... The Cardiff and Merthyr Tydfil Unions were both very large, and in 1863, three parishes were taken from each to form the Pontypridd Poor Law Union. The new Union extended from Llantrisant in the south and Caerphilly in the east to the heads of the Rhondda valleys in the north, covering the parishes of Eglwysilan, Llantrisant and Llantwit Fardre (previously in the Cardiff Union) and the parishes of Llanfabon, Llanwonno, otherwise Llanwynno, and Ystradyfodwg (taken from the Merthyr Tydfil Union). ...............................A Union workhouse (later known as the Central Homes) was built in Courthouse Street, Pontypridd, in 1865; extended several times, by 1920, it had room for 500 inmates in the workhouse itself, and for a further 100 in the infirmary and accommodation for mothers and young babies in the nursery. Further accommodation for children up to the age of five years was provided at the Maesycoed Homes, which, although situated half a mile from the main workhouse building, were an integral part of the institution. Cottage homes were built for older children at Church Village, the first eight cottages being opened in 1892, and a further four cottages being added later; by 1920, 250 children could be accommodated. A school for the children was also provided on the site. A subsidiary workhouse was opened at Llwynypia, in 1903, and an infirmary added to it about 1909; the infirmary became an increasingly important part of the institution, and by 1927 it had been converted to a general hospital, although still under the control of the Board of Guardians. Outdoor relief was administered by local relieving officers, each responsible for a relief district. ........................................."

Public Records

Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales for the following;

  • Pontypridd and Rhondda Joint Water Board records 1889-1963
  • Pontypridd Burial Board records 1921 "....... appears to have been created between 1895 and 1906"
  • Pontypridd District Highway Board records 1866-1895
  • Pontypridd Library literary archives 1872-[1935]
  • Pontypridd Local Board of Health 1873-1894
  • Pontypridd Urban District Council records 1895-1974
  • Ponrtpridd (valuation) Assessment Area records 1862-1950


The University of South Wales, Pontypridd (Treforest)

Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales for the following;

  • (Pontypridd) and Llantrisant Division Elementary/Primary schools records "Pontypridd and Llantrisant Division Elementary/Primary schools records including log books and admissions registers relating to Beddau Board school, 1877-1977; Gelynog school Beddau, 1921-1923; Ystradbarwig school Beddau, 1919-1930; Coedely school, 1924-1934; Cwm-lai school Tonfrefail, 1910-1959; Evanstown school, 1895-1954; Evantown Council school, 1919-1973; Evanstown Cookery and Laundry Centre, 1920-1952; Evanstown Handicraft Centre, 1919-1927; Gilfach Goch schools, 1870-1945; Gwaunmeisgyn school Beddau, 1983; Hendreforgan school, 1916-1959; Llantrisant National school, 1863-1921; Maes-y-bryn school and Llantwit Fardre school, 1894-1982; Trefilltud Temporary Council school, 1906-1955; Miskin Village Board school, 1877-1962; Penrhiw-fer school, 1881-1949; Pont-y-clun schools, 1878-1946; Tonrefail school, 1888-1967; Gellidawel school Tonrefail, 1912-1949; Gellidawel Cookery Centre, 1912-1917; Tonysguboriau school, 1909-1922; Trebanog school, 1921-1934"
  • Pontypridd Intermediate/County Secondary/Grammar schools records " ......... comprising of minutes of governors, 1896-1951; headmasters reports, 1897-1924; annual reports, 1897-1898; governors attendance book, 1896-1951; governors declaration books, 1901-1943; log book (girls school), 1951-1973; admission registers, 1915-1922; fees registers, 1933-1945; registers of teachers salaries, 1936-1946; cash books, 1925-1947; annual financial statements, 1935-1938"
  • Pontypridd School Board records " ........ comprising minute books, 1895-1903; cash book, 1896-1898; salary registers, 1897-1903; abstract book, 1900-1903; loan account book, 1900-1903; school plans, n.d; photographs, 1883-1903; correspondence, 1895-1915; ledger, 1897"

Pontypridd Grammar School orchestra and choir, - on the People's Collection Wales site


Social Life & Customs

Various items - on the People's Collection Wales site

  • Trippers gather outside the Half Moon pub, Pontypridd, the children holding buckets and spades, circa 1920.
  • The new stand at Taff Vale Park, Pontypridd in 1923
  • Freddie Welsh (1886-1927), boxing champion from Pontypridd
  • Pontypridd RFC 1892/93 season