From the top, The Old Bridge, Town Centre, Monument to Evan James & James James in Ynysangharad Park
Pontypridd is located in Rhondda Cynon Taf
Location within Rhondda Cynon Taf
Population31,206 (2021)[1]
OS grid referenceST075895
  • Pontypridd Town
Principal area
Preserved county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtCF37
Dialling code01443
PoliceSouth Wales
FireSouth Wales
UK Parliament
Senedd Cymru – Welsh Parliament
List of places
Rhondda Cynon Taf
51°36′07″N 3°20′31″W / 51.602°N 3.342°W / 51.602; -3.342

Pontypridd (Welsh pronunciation: [ˌpɔntəˈpriːð]) (colloquially: Ponty[2][3]) is a town and a community in Rhondda Cynon Taf, South Wales,[4] approximately 10 miles north west of Cardiff city centre.


Pontypridd comprises the electoral wards of Cilfynydd, Glyncoch, Graig, Hawthorn, Pontypridd Town, 'Rhondda', Rhydyfelin Central/Ilan, Trallwng (Trallwn) and Treforest. The town mainly falls within the Senedd and UK parliamentary constituency by the same name, although the Cilfynydd and Glyncoch wards fall within the Cynon Valley Senedd constituency and the Cynon Valley UK parliamentary constituency. This change was effective for the 2007 Welsh Assembly election, and for the 2010 UK General Election.[5]

The town sits at the junction of the Rhondda and Taff valleys, where the River Rhondda flows into the Taff just south of the town at Ynysangharad War Memorial Park.[6] Pontypridd community recorded a population of about 32,700 in the 2011 census figures.[7] while Pontypridd Town ward itself was recorded as having a population of 2,919 also as of 2011.[8]

The town lies alongside the north–south dual carriageway A470 between Cardiff and Merthyr Tydfil. The A4054, running north and south of the town, was the former main road, and like the A470, follows the Taff Valley. South of the town is the A473 for Llantrisant and Pencoed. To the west is the A4058, which follows the River Rhondda to Porth and the Rhondda Valley beyond.



The name Pontypridd derives from the name Pont y tŷ pridd, Welsh for "bridge by the earthen house", referring singly to successive wooden bridges that once spanned the River Taff at this point.

Old Bridge

Pontypridd is noted for its Old Bridge, a stone construction across the River Taff built in 1756 by William Edwards. This was Edwards's fourth attempt, and at the time of construction, was the longest single-span stone arch bridge in the world. Rising 35 feet (11 m) above the level of the river, the bridge forms a perfect segment of a circle, the chord of which is 140 feet (43 m). Notable features are the three holes of differing diameters through each end of the bridge, the purpose of which is to reduce weight. On completion, questions were soon raised as to the utility of the bridge, with the steepness of the design making it difficult to get horses and carts across. As a result, a new bridge, the Victoria Bridge, paid for by public subscription, was built adjacent to the old one in 1857. Pontypridd was known as Newbridge from shortly after the construction of the Old Bridge until the 1860s.

The drinking fountain in Taff St, Pontypridd, donated in 1895 by Sir Alfred Thomas, MP for East Glamorgan
Old Bridge, dating from 1756


The history of Pontypridd is tied to the coal and iron industries; before their development Pontypridd was a hamlet of a few farmsteads, with Treforest initially becoming the main urban settlement in the area. Sited at the junction of three valleys, it became an important location for transporting coal from the Rhondda and iron from Merthyr Tydfil, first by the Glamorganshire Canal, and later by the Taff Vale Railway, to the ports at Cardiff, Barry and Newport. Its role in coal transport lengthened its railway platform, which is thought to have once been the longest in the world in its heyday.[9] Pontypridd in the second half of the 19th century was a hive of industry, once nicknamed the "Wild West".[10] There were several collieries within the Pontypridd area itself, including:

Tonypandy & Trealaw railway station during an early 1910s coal strike
Front page of the earliest surviving copy of the Welsh newspaper The Pontypridd Chronicle; 15 January 1881

As well as deep-mined collieries, there were many coal levels and trial shafts dug into the hillsides overlooking the town from Cilfynydd, Graig, Graigwen and Hafod. The Albion Colliery in the village of Cilfynydd in 1894 underwent one of the worst explosions in the South Wales coalfield, with the death of 290 colliers (see Keir Hardie).

Iron and steel

Other instrumental industries in Pontypridd were the Brown Lenox/Newbridge Chain & Anchor Works south-east of the town, and Crawshay's Forest Iron, Steel & Tin Plate Works and the Taff Vale Iron Works, both in Treforest near the now University of South Wales.


The town has a hospital, Dewi Sant Hospital and acts as the headquarters of Transport for Wales Rail at Llys Cadwyn.


Pontypridd Urban District Council operated from 1894 to 1974, when it was incorporated into Taff Ely Borough Council. That in turn came under the unitary Rhondda Cynon Taf Council in 1996. Pontypridd Town Council functions as a community council. Labour is the dominant political force and has been since the First World War. The community elects 23 town councillors from 11 community wards: Cilfynydd, Glyncoch, Graig, Hawthorn, Ilan, Pontypridd, Rhondda, Rhydfelen Central, Rhydfelen Lower, Trallwng and Treforest.[11]

Pontypridd community

The Cilfynydd Commercial Hotel in Cilfynydd
St. David's Church in Hopkinstown (closed Feb 2022)[12]

Pontypridd community comprises the town centre itself, with the following key villages/settlements:

Pontypridd serves as the postal town for the community of Llantwit Fardre under the CF38 postcode district, although the area is not considered part of Pontypridd.

Transport links

Pontypridd came into being because of transport, as it was on the drovers' route from the south Wales coast and the Bristol Channel, to Merthyr, and onwards into the hills of Brecon. Although initial expansion in the valleys occurred at Treforest due to the slower speed of the River Taff at that point, the establishment of better bridge building meant a natural flow of power to Pontypridd.


Main article: Pontypridd railway station

Railway station

The establishment of Pontypridd over Treforest was finally confirmed with the building of the Glamorganshire Canal to serve the coalmines of the Rhondda Valley. However, the volumes of coal extraction soon led to construction of the Taff Vale Railway, which at its peak meant a train passed through Pontypridd railway station (including the freight lines immediately to its west) every two or three minutes.[13] The station was originally built as a long single island, at one point the world's longest platform, a reflection of both the narrow available geography of the steep valley side and the need to accommodate many converging railways lines at what became the 19th-century hub of the valleys.

Due to the restrictive geography, only parcels and mail were handled at Pontypridd. Heavy freight went to Treforest. The station today is operated by Transport for Wales, which is headquartered in the town. It reflects the fewer destinations served since the Beeching and earlier cuts, with one up (valley) platform, one down (through) platform, a down bay platform (opened in December 2014), and one passing loop.

Trams, trolleybuses, and buses

A tram service began on 6 March 1905 from Cilfynydd through Pontypridd to Treforest. It gave way on 18 September 1930 to trolleybuses, which on 31 January 1957 were replaced by buses following the same route.


Glamorgan Business School (university)

Entertainment and social history

Sport and recreation

Sardis Road rugby ground
The former paddling pool in Ynysangharad Park, now removed
The pitch and putt golf course in Ynysangharad Park, now removed
The bandstand in Ynysangharad Park



A memorial in Ynysangharad Park to Evan James and James James, composers of the Welsh national anthem

In popular culture


Pontypridd is twinned with Nürtingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Initial contact was made between them in 1965, with a visit by Côr Meibion Pontypridd Welsh male voice Choir to a choir called Liederkranz ("Coronet of Songs") based in the Oberensingen area of Nürtingen. The visit was returned a year later. Reciprocal choir visits have continued and the partnership prompted Pontypridd Urban District Council to join with Nürtingen in formal twinning relations, under an agreement signed in July 1968 by John Cheesman, Chairman of Pontypridd UDC, and Karl Gonser, Mayor of Nürtingen.[24]

Pontypridd is twinned with Mbale, Uganda, since an official twinning ceremony in 2005, following links by local churches and health-care workers under the charitable Partnerships Overseas Networking Trust.[25][26]

Notable people

See Category:People from Pontypridd

Sports people


See also


  1. ^ "Pontypridd (Rhondda Cynon Taf, Wales / Cymru, United Kingdom) - Population Statistics, Charts, Map, Location, Weather and Web Information". Citypopulation.de.
  2. ^ "Lido Ponty | Outdoor Swimming in Pontypridd, South Wales". www.rctcbc.gov.uk. Retrieved 10 July 2022.
  3. ^ "Home". Pontypridd-RFC. Retrieved 10 July 2022.
  4. ^ CHK (7 December 2007). "Rhondda Cynon Taf Local Development Plan". Cartogold.co.uk. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  5. ^ "The Parliamentary Constituencies and Assembly Electoral Regions (Wales) Order 2006, Schedule 1". Legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 2 September 2021.
  6. ^ The Welsh Academy Encyclopaedia of Wales. John Davies, Nigel Jenkins, Menna Baines and Peredur Lynch (2008) pg692 ISBN 978-0-7083-1953-6
  7. ^ The urban area with nearby communities has about 55,000 inhabitants. [1] Archived 26 February 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Office of National Statistics". Archived from the original on 5 October 2013. Retrieved 24 June 2008.
  9. ^ Huw Williams, 1981. Pontypridd: Essays on the History of an Industrial Community. University College, Department of Extra-Mural Studies.
  10. ^ Lucy Ellis, 2009. Tom Jones Close Up. 0711975493
  11. ^ "The Rhondda Cynon Taf (Communities) Order 2016" (PDF). Legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  12. ^ "Meet the Team". Pontypridd Ministry Area. Archived from the original on 28 July 2022. Retrieved 28 July 2022.
  13. ^ "Pontypridd and The Taff Vale Railway", E. Mountford, in The Railway and Industrial Heritage of Pontypridd & District p. 16, 1985, Taff-Ely BC.
  14. ^ Fields of Praise, The Official History of the Welsh Rugby Union 1881–1981, David Smith, Gareth Williams (1980), 26 pp.
  15. ^ "British and Irish Cup draw announced | Club News | News & Views". Ponty.net. 13 May 2013. Archived from the original on 4 March 2012. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
  16. ^ "About GTFM". GTFM. Retrieved 26 April 2023.
  17. ^ "WalesOnline: News, sport, weather and events from across Wales". icWales. Archived from the original on 20 October 2006.
  18. ^ "Pontypridd and Llantrisant Observer". Reach Solutions.
  19. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 8 August 2007. Retrieved 6 October 2007.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  20. ^ "Home – Poetry Competition". Welshpoetry.co.uk. Archived from the original on 11 January 2022. Retrieved 11 January 2022.
  21. ^ "Tom Jones". 13 November 2006. Archived from the original on 13 November 2006. Retrieved 11 January 2022.
  22. ^ "Home town welcomes back Tom Jones". BBC News. 28 May 2005. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
  23. ^ "Wales – Arts – Children – Fireman Sam". BBC. 11 February 2009. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
  24. ^ "The History of Twinning in Rhondda Cynon Taf". 31 August 2012. Archived from the original on 31 August 2012. Retrieved 11 January 2022.
  25. ^ "Q: Are Pontypridd and Rhondda Cynon Taf really twinned with places in Uganda?". 2 April 2012. Archived from the original on 2 April 2012. Retrieved 11 January 2022.
  26. ^ "Background". 1 May 2012. Archived from the original on 1 May 2012. Retrieved 11 January 2022.
  27. ^ "Catrin Collier". Contactanauthor.co.uk. Archived from the original on 14 October 2008. Retrieved 2 June 2013.
  28. ^ Matthew, H. C. G.; Harrison, B., eds. (23 September 2004). "Joyce Daniel". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/54992. Retrieved 19 July 2023. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  29. ^ "The Supreme Court – Biographies of the Justices". Supremecourt.uk. Retrieved 26 August 2021.
  30. ^ O'Connell-Davidson, Michael (23 December 2013). "Pontypridd Isn't Proud of Ian Watkins Any More". VICE. Retrieved 28 March 2023.
This article's use of external links may not follow Wikipedia's policies or guidelines. Please improve this article by removing excessive or inappropriate external links, and converting useful links where appropriate into footnote references. (January 2022) (Learn how and when to remove this message)