In Torfaen Museum is a copy made of a plan of Pontypool from the early nineteenth century, the original of which is lodged with the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth.

The plan clearly shows Pontypool Park House and park land (then the property of Capel Hanbury Leigh ‘Esquire’) with the town and villages of Trosnant and ‘Pontymoel’ on the other side of the river (Afon Lwyd).

Next to the House can be seen the stable block (now the museum) and the Lodge Cottages (now Sight Support). Interestingly, much is made of the Poultry Court within the Park – the remains of which can still be seen today uphill from the Sally Gates at Pontymoile.

The plan shows (on the upper left) the Town Forge with its feeder ponds taken straight from the Afon Lwyd (now Riverside) which, with no road in place, they are straight downhill from Herbert’s Wood cottages (now known as Churchwood).

Also featured on the plan is the Blue Boar Field (since 1894 the Market and Market Street) and St James’ Field (now with houses, part of the Civic Centre, St James’ Church and Hall).

However, most interesting of all is that the plan shows the tramways along the river and the canal. The long-gone canal is depicted running alongside the large coal yard at Pontymoile and making its way around Trosnant, behind St James’ Field, along the top of Crane Street where it met High Street and on roughly the site of the present day bypass.

Nostalgia is provided by Torfaen Museum.

The museum is open from Tuesday to Friday 10am to 4pm and weekends from 1pm to 4pm.