Nostalgia is provided by Torfaen Museum.

THIS 1970s photograph is of the Torfaen Museum courtyard. Originally the yard of the Hanbury family’s stables, carriage houses and male servants accommodation block, it was built 200 years ago in the early 1820s, and has seen many changes over the years.

Prior to this, this area next to the Pontypool Park House contained the walled kitchen garden, dovecote and a small family chapel.

When the Park and these Park Buildings were sold to the Panteg, Pontypool and Abersychan Urban District Councils in 1922 (after the House had been gifted to the Catholic church), the former stable block had a variety of council uses, being a home for Sikh soldiers in the Second World War (before they re-camped at the Polo Grounds in New Inn), a chest clinic and the home of the Highways Department of Torfaen Borough Council.

In 1978 the Borough Museum Service based in Blaenavon’s Lion Street became an independent Trust and started the refurbishment of the Park Buildings for their new museum. This is when the photograph shown here was taken.

The courtyard cobbles were re-discovered at that time under the concrete of the Highways Department.

Free Press Series:

The courtyard at Torfaen Museum in the present day. Picture: Torfaen Museum.

In 2000, when the original war memorial gates were destroyed by a falling tree, the gates from the southern archway of the courtyard were in storage and then re-used as the war memorial gates.

Opened by HRH Prince of Wales in 1980, the refurbished building became the Valley Inheritance Museum and has now been preserving and displaying the history and culture of our Eastern Valley for over 40 years as Pontypool Museum (1999-2017) and now Torfaen Museum (from 2017).