|View of Pontypridd Old Bridge taken in 1975.|
From the Collections of the National Monuments Record of Wales: Crown copyright: Central Office of Information
Situated at the meeting point of the Taff and Rhondda rivers, Pontypridd is the gateway of the Cardiff valleys. Once described by the writer and novelist Gwyn Thomas as the ‘Damascus of the Valleys’, the town is famous not only as the birthplace of Tom Jones and the Welsh National Anthem Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau, but also for its single-span arch bridge (from which Pontypridd draws its name) and the Brown Lennox Chainworks that made the anchors for Brunel’s great Victorian steamships.
Pontypridd’s oldest landmark is known locally as the ‘Old Bridge’. Constructed in the middle of the eighteenth century by William Edwards, the bridge was Edwards’ fourth attempt at building a single-span footbridge across the river Taff. At 140ft, the Old Bridge was the longest single-span bridge in Britain when it opened in 1756 and remained so until the 1790s. The entire enterprise had cost William Edwards over £1,150 (or the equivalent of £195,544 in today’s prices). Distinctive in its design with three different sized cylindrical holes on each side of the bridge, this has been the central image in the town’s identity ever since.
Coflein - Pontypridd Old Bridge:
People's Collection Wales -
- The Coming of Industry
- King Coal
- National Anthem & Cwm Rhondda
- Sporting Life
- Going the the Dogs
- The Dark Side of Life in Victorian Pontypridd
- Conclusion: Towards the Future
- Pontypridd, Monday 22:35
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