Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index


Pontypridd is a town in South Wales. It has a population of roughly 33,000, and is situated 12 miles north of the capital city, Cardiff, in the county of Glamorgan.

The name Pontypridd is from the Welsh for Bridge by the earthern house. The bridge in question was a footbridge across the River Taff. Pontypridd is, however, more famous for the Old Bridge, a stone bridge across the Taff built in 1755 by William Edwards. The bridge was the third attempted by Edwards, and at the time of construction was the longest stone-built single-arch bridge in Europe.The bridge is a perfect segment of a circle, the chord of which is 140 feet, and 35 feet above the level of the river. Notable features are three holes of differing diameters through each end of the bridge. These were to reduce the weight of the bridge; the aesthetic nature of them was merely a bonus. Pontypridd was known as Newbridge from shortly after the construction of this bridge until the 1860s. However, the utility of the bridge was debatable. The steepness of the design made it difficult to get carts across it, and in 1857, a new bridge was built adjacent to the old one, paid for by public subscription.

The history of Pontypridd is closely tied to the coal and iron industries. Sited as it is at the junction of the Rhondda and Taff valleys, it became an important location for the transportation of coal from the Rhondda and iron from Merthyr Tydfil, first via the Glamorganshire Canal and later via the Taff Vale Railway, to the ports at Cardiff and Barry.

Notable people from Pontypridd include