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I have been presented with a list of the licensed Premises that were trading in Pontypool since the turn of last century and thought I'd like to share them with you. How many of them do you remember? And how many are still trading today?

When you look at the list it makes you wonder how they could all keep running in such a relatively small town. The National Census of 1921 put the population of Pontypool at 51, 287. At the same time there was 147 licensed drinking establishments - that's 348 people for each drinking hole! This is another example of the affluence that once existed in our town. Many visitors used to come to the town, especially for shopping at the shops and markets but also for other reasons such as work. People used to come from all over the country to work in the forges and coal mines of the Torfaen valley.


We will start with the town of Pontypool itself. I will divide the town up by main streets and areas starting alphabetically.

Albion Road.
The Albion.
The Coach and Horses.
The Finers Arms.

The Albion

The Horseshoe.
The Hospitality.
The Red Lion.
The Unicorn.

Commercial Street.
.The George
The Greyhound Hotel.

The Greyhound and the George Hotels

Crane Street.
The Globe Hotel.
The Montague.
The Prince of Wales.

The Ship, 3 Cranes, and the Swan Hotels

The Ship.
The Sir Garnet Wolseley Hotel.
The Swan.
The Three Cranes
The White Lion.
The Wrington Arms.

Forge Lane.
Lower Forge Hammer.
Upper Forge Hammer.

George Street.
The Alma.
The Bath Beer House.

The Bull.
The Castle.

The Crown.
The Fountain.
The Full Moon.
The Three Salmons.
The White Hart.


So there you have them. Start up at Cwmffrwdoer, down to Pontnewynydd, in to town, then finish up in Pontymoil. About 2 to 3 miles and a seriously bad stomach and head the next day!

Unfortunately today many of these drinking establishments are long gone. Some new ones have replaced them such as the Comrades club, The British Legion, The Workingmen's club, Trevethin Club, for example. But the truth is there were more pubs in Pontypool last century than the number of shops we have here today!


Now for the ones that surround the town in the small villages that make up Pontypool.

The Bridgend.
The Cwmffrwdoer Inn.
The Forge Hammer.
The Masons Arms.
The Plas-Y-Coed
The Robin Hood.

The Horseshoe.
The Little Crown.
The Masons Arms.
The Pretoria.
The Royal Oak.
The Swan.
The United Friends.

The Prince of Wales.
The Rock.
The Unicorn.
The Wheatsheaf.

The Masons Arms.
The Yew Tree.


Hanbury Road.
The Clarence Hotel.
The Hanbury.

The Clarence Hotel

High Street.
The Bell.
The Bush.
The Colliers Arms.
The Forge Hammer.
The Labour In Vain.
The Noahs Ark.
The Oak.
The Victory.
The Wellington. (The Salutation)

Market Street.
The Market Tavern.
The New Found Out.
The Wheatsheaf.
The Winning Horse.

The Hanbury.
The Kings Arms.
The Star.
The Waterloo.



The Wheatsheaf in Blue Boar fields

How do you fancy your chances of a pub crawl around those then? Say one pint in each? No I don't think so either. But they are all within walking distance of each other.
I expect that when Twmpath manage to organise a reunion of former pupils they will have a damn good go at it!!! Come on old Twmpathians.



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