Pontypool Park was once the park of a grand estate belonging to the Hanbury family. The Park remained in the Hanbury family’s possession until the 1920s when it was purchased as a public open space. It has now been developed into a leisure park with lots of outdoor recreational activities alongside historic and botanic features. It lies on the eastern edge of the South Wales Coalfield. To the west of the Park are the valleys, while to the east is the landscape of rural Monmouthshire with the Brecon Beacons National Park at its northern most boundary.
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You can take a guided walk around the Park by downloading the app. You can find a link to the app on the sidebar of this page.
Download the Teachers Guide for all Pontypool Park and Hanbury Family exercises and activities.
The Park History
The land for the park was purchased in 1677 by Capel Hanbury for £192 for a “parcel of land called Pontypool and a forge and thereon built”. Twelve years later he bought more land from John and Mary Waters for £860.
On this land Capel Hanbury built Park House. His son, Major John Hanbury created the Park as he had moved permanently to Pontypool. Major John Hanbury also pioneered the development of tinplate rolling which helped create Japanware.
The park and house remained in the Hanbury family for 250 years with many additions being made such as the Shell Grotto, The Folly Tower and the Italian and American Gardens. When the Hanbury family were away from Pontypool, the estate was looked after by an agent on their behalf.
In 1913 a conference of Pontypool, Panteg, and Abersychan District Councils met with Mr J.O. Tyler, the agent to Pontypool Park Estate to discuss setting aside part of the park for public use. In 1920, 158 acres were transferred over to the Urban District Councils for the sum of £11,000 and a committee was set up to manage and improve the park.
READ THEIR AIMS?
In 1975 a dry ski slope was installed and Pontypool Leisure Centre is also accommodated in its grounds. The park also has an outdoor tennis court, bowling green, netball courts and a community orchard.
There is also a popular bandstand that hosts a variety of live music.
 Eastern Valley. The Story of Torfaen. 1999.
Activity 2.1. Explore the Park
Use the Park Trail App
Activity 2.2. The Shell Grotto
Activity 2.3. Navigating from the Folly Tower
Activity 3.1. Plants in the American Garden
Activity 3.2. Leaves
Activity 3.3. Comparing Habitats
Map of suggested habitats in the park (N/A)