OVERLOOKING seven different counties and standing at just under 1,000 feet above sea level, the Folly Tower remains a special place in the affection of many Pontypudlians. The identity between the community and this humble tower is testified to by the fact it features on many, if not most, crests of local sports sides, schools and societies.

On the order of the Ministry of Defence, the tower was famously blown apart in 1940 in a strategic attempt to prevent German bombers from finding a nearby munitions factory in Glascoed.

A young local in the area saw the more jovial side at the time: “I was a small lad in 1940 and can recollect going for a walk up the Folly in July of that year with a pal.

“We walked as far as the mountain gate, intending to go on further, but were stopped…They informed us the Folly was about to be blown up by the army and civilians were not allowed any nearer.

“I can remember well the excitement we felt as we hung around waiting for the explosion. What had been an ordinary walk had suddenly turned into an adventure.

“After a while, we heard a bang and saw a puff of smoke rising – the Folly was no more.”

A stray German aerial bomb later fell directly amid the rubble, but the munitions factory remained untouched.

By 1990, all that remained on the spot was a small and overgrown mound of stones. Luckily, in September of that year a local group of determined historians and conservationists began a campaign to have the tower rebuilt.

Soon after, excavation works uncovered the original eight-sided base of the tower; between this and comparisons to drawings and photographs from the 18th and 19th centuries, the rebuilding of the tower was finally completed and opened by the HRH Prince of Wales in 1994.

Note that this postcard in the museum's archive actually announces Folly Tower as in Pontnewynydd.

Nostalgia is provided by Torfaen Museum.