IN 1827, Capel Hanbury Leigh of Pontypool Park gifted a parcel of land at the top of Penygarn Hill to the Baptist Church to build a College for training Ministers. The ‘Pontypool College’ continued in Penygarn until the end of the nineteenth century, when the Church moved it moved to Cardiff.

Then, from 1897, for over ninety years, the old College buildings were used as the County School for Girls. The first Headmistress of the County School was Miss Annie Mary Dobell, a graduate of the University of Wales. Annie Dobell was a supporter of women’s suffrage, a keen educationalist and soon became a leading figure in the Welsh education sector. One of her outstanding pupils, Dorothea Moseley, also went on to graduate from the University of Wales and then teach at the County School.

When the County School dissolved in 1981, becoming Trevethin School (comprehensive) in 1982, the school’s local studies reference library was donated to Torfaen Museum Trust and named after the two teachers. Today the Dobell Moseley Library & Archive at the museum is run by museum volunteers and opened to the public, by appointment.

Trevethin School closed in July 2007 and was demolished later that year – it is now private housing and known as Penygarn Heights.

Nostalgia is provided by Torfaen Museum.