THE Hanbury family came to Pontypool in the late sixteenth century and became developers of much of the industry in the Torfaen Valley.

In the seventeenth century they built their family home – the mansion of Pontypool Park House (the former gardens and parklands of which are the current Pontypool Park).

In the early nineteenth century, the house and park were remodelled and inside the former kitchen garden with its chapel and dovecote, were built lodge houses (now Sight Cymru’s offices) and the new stable and carriage block which included a dormitory for the young, male estate workers and 2 small houses.

After the mansion house was given to the Order of the Holy Ghost in 1922 (now St Albans R C High School) and the parklands were purchased by the 3 urban district councils of Pontypool, Abersychan and Panteg, the stable and carriage buildings went through many uses: soldiers’ billets in WWII, a Chest Clinic, depot for the Highways Department and then from 1980 the Valley Inheritance Museum moved down from Blaenavon to make its permanent home there.

The museum changed its name in 1998 to Pontypool Museum and in 2018 to Torfaen Museum.

This photograph from the museum archives shows one of the Hanbury family carriages being driven through the main archway into what is now the museum courtyard.

The well and water trough is still there – but is now a purely decorative fountain.

Torfaen Museum now contains c. 20,000 artefacts, books, papers, photographs and newspapers that tell the story of our Eastern Valley from prehistory to contemporary times.

If you would like to support the work of the museum, an independent charity, and ensure the story of your Valley continues to be preserved and told to future generations, you can join the museum as a Member for a small annual fee.

Ring for details 01495 752036.

Nostalgia is provided by Torfaen Museum.