A word map of Pontypool 1881

Following the many recent comments on the topography of Pontypool and also some of its residents, I received an email from Darren Jones in which he describes in some detail a journey through the town with reference to the map of 1881. From the many emails I receive I know that a number of visitors to this blog no longer live in Pontypool; many have moved abroad. Some have, or have had, families living in Pontypool but may never have visited the town themselves. These people find the descriptions and visual information of great interest, particularly if they are researching their family history.

This is borne out by the number of hits on this blog. On 1st August it received 141 hits in one day and the total number of hits to date is well over 20,000 ! I don’t think it’s the same people who return to read the blog again and again; it must be folk from far and wide that are getting results when they Google “Pontypool”.

I am printing below Darren’s email, with my thanks, as I’m sure it will be of interest:


 “I have enjoyed reading your blog and have found it very interesting. Since reading the posts about the location of the Old Parrot, I have been looking on the Town Maps from 1881, which cover in good detail a sort of square mile or so of town. I started to write it out to add some locations of pubs to my own family tree site and got a bit carried away. 

I’ll add what I have written down, it may or may not be of any use to you. 

 Entering town From George Street

Down George St, Over the Railway Bridge and The Fountain Inn is on your left. Few buildings and you are at the junction to Malthouse Lane. Few yards down on the left is an alleyway leading to a Brewery and also Brewery Lane . Carry on down over George Street and you have The Bull Inn on your left. 3 or 4 more buildings and The White Hart is on your left ( To Bernie Groves Clinic) West Street on your right with Railway Parade just above it. 6 buildings down on the right is The Castle Inn with a Brewery just behind it. Crown Hotel on your right (Woolworths) The Full Moon on your left ( Old Tescos ) on to The Cross.

If you were to go straight on towards the bank, turn left down Park Road and The Forgehammer Hotel would be on your right, where the grass embankment now is and the bus stop. From The Cross up Crane St, 2nd building on the right is the Victoria Hotel. Opposite is The White Lion. Up Crane St, the Baptist Chapel on the right. Straight opposite is Japan Court. Get to the Junction of Market Street and you have The Ship Inn, then The Swan Hotel, then the Three Cranes. Opposite this is The Globe.

Under the railway bridge onto Montague Terrace, Past The Montague Hotel to a Junction. On the left is The Railway Inn ( Think this became the Wrington Arms ?)  just before you get to Crane St Station. Carry on up past Town School and on the right you have a Methodist Chapel. Opposite this was a Presbyterian Chapel. On up towards Bridge St Junction and opposite is Gibson’s lane, where you can either cut off up over the Donkey Steps into Gibson’s Sq or follow it on to the back of the Masons Arms. Go up High Street, past the One Bell pub, round the corner, where Broadway is, was Gibson’s Square. Right where the Workman’s Club is. Up towards the Tranch just opposite the lower entrance to Gwent Street was the Masons Arms. on up the road on the Right about 100 meters is The Bush.

Entering Town From Pontymoile

(Where the 24 hour garage is) There’s an Armoury on your left just before Bailey Terrace, and a small Gas Works on the right where the builders are now. Up Rockhill Road, 100 meters and there’s a small Foundry on your right butting onto the previous Gas Works. Turn right down Trosnant St (right before Ray Cowles) over a bridge then there’s a brewery on your left hand side. Next door is The Hanbury Arms Inn. 100 yards and you have The Kings Arms on your left. Few metres up on your right is The Friends’ Meeting House. Just up from here on the right is Zion Baptist Chapel with 2 Burial grounds around it. On the junction here is The Cambrian Inn. The road forks here, the right fork going to the Hanbury Hotel, the left hand fork bending around to The Clarence Hotel.

If you had carried on going up Rockhill Road, On your left there is a Quarry then down to your right you would see the Gasworks and 3 Gasometers then Mill Road leading to Trosnant Corn Mill and a Malthouse where the Garages are, and Mill Pond just behind the Laundry. The Left hand side was all track, with offices and goods weighing areas. Just to the right is The Clarence Hotel with Trosnant Lodge which became a doctor’s surgery. Across to Upper Bridge St, and there’s a Welsh Baptist Chapel and Burial ground. On up towards St Johns Road (Albion Road) under the railway bridge. Limekiln road goes off to your left towards the Destrucutor, just opposite is the entrance to Lower Park Terrace. 100 meters on the left hand side is The Unicorn Inn. 

Then onto Albion Road. Go past Crumlin Road, Albion Terrace to the right and Chapel Lane just behind it running parallel to it. Past Sycamore House and Ivy Cottage. Nothing there apart from a few cottages and Twmpath Level on your Left, then on towards The Finers Arms on your Right.

Thank you David for your time, Sorry if it makes no sense or is worthless to you. This was followed from a Town Plan from 1881, so confusion can be made as a lot of these were changed or demolished by the time your readers were born.”


With regard to the query from Clive Barnby about the possibility of publishing the 1881 map on this site, and whether there is a source for viewing it, I would like to point out that the scope for publishing graphics in this blog is somewhat limited. Something as large as a whole map of Pontypool might not be large enough in detail to be of much use. However, regarding the possibility of viewing the map, I should think that the Pontypool Museum might have a copy available for visitors to see.


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14 Responses to “A word map of Pontypool 1881”

  1. gary Says:

    Have you forgotten the “Labour in Vain” pub in twmpath?

  2. Darren Says:

    Hello All

    The map is available for all to see at http://www.old-maps.co.uk/index.html . Put Pontypool in the search box then search. let it load and you will see a modern day map with a red marker.

    Drag the map to the small area of town you want then click on a place, and on the right hand side you will see various op.tions. If you have selected the middle of town you will see the option for Town Plan. From looking at these i now want to see what has happened to the Burial Grounds at Trosnant and Upper Bridge St.

  3. Darren Says:

    No not forgotten it, The Town Plans only go up to The Bush.

  4. michael taylor Says:

    If you go behind the building of the Masonic hall in Trosnant, there are still head stones there rather over grown but you can see them, this was at one time the burial ground of the Quakers

  5. Darren Says:

    Hello Michael.

    Yes you are right, the stones are still there, looked today and they have been removed from the graves and are stood against a wall. roughly 10 of them. couldnt see a lot but did make out 1818 on one of them.

  6. Darren Says:

    Hello all

    I know Facebook isnt popular with a lot of people, but i started a group on there called “Old Pontypool” In July . At present there is 186 Members and approx 1300 Photos of Pontypool. Just easier on there for people to view and leave comments. Anyone who would like to join here is the link – http://www.facebook.com/groups/138173322935224/

    Thank You

  7. David Says:

    did you forget the sir garnet wolseley on crane street just up from sandbrook & dawes hardware store.

  8. Darren Says:

    No David, didnt forget it, it wasnt mentioned on the town plan, but then, neither was The Pontypool Arms, The Royal Arms, The Three Tuns, The Prince Of Wales and many more that were on Crane St, Just listed the odd building.

  9. Lee Devey Says:

    Is anyone familiar with Upper Race?
    I am trying to find a place called Darren View that would have had caravans on it. It doesn’t appear to exist anymore as far as I can see? I am trying to find this for nostalgic reasons (my wife was born there in 1960 & christened at Race Church.

    Thanks, Lee

    • levant29 Says:

      Lee At the top of the Race there was a small lane going to the Resevoir the caravan park was at the end of this, along old Coal tips,

      • Lee Devey Says:

        Only just picked this up. Thanks greatly for the help. Is this somewhere I can pinpoint on google maps? I can’t see a reservoir, only Catchwater or Lickey Pond? We are visiting Cardiff from Birmingham in a couple of weeks & my wife would really like to see the place of her birth & the church.
        Thanks again

  10. Kirsty McInally Says:

    You’re blog is very interesting and very informative.I wonder if you know anything of the history of The Hanbury Arms in Pontypool ? I have seen what is said to be the original hanging beam for myself as it’s believed it was an execution house in the 1800s.I would love to know more if you ever stumble across anything,will keep enjoying your blog,many thanks Kirsty McInally xx

  11. Anne Says:

    My gtx3 grandfather Lawrence Tipping had the Red Cow Alehouse on Albion Road in Pontypool at least until 1870. Do you know of this Alehouse. He is listed in the 1860 census as Retailer of Beer. I would love to get a photo if I could.


  12. Liz McKernan Says:

    Does anyone know if Twmpath House still exists? It’s address was Albion Road but I remember it being between two roads. I have happy memories of childhood holidays there with my aunt and uncle over 60 years ago.

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