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Discover our history

Welcome to Torfaen Museum

Here you will find a wide range of resources whether you are looking for support with a research project, interested in the history of Torfaen or planning to visit us. Drawing upon over 40 years of collecting and study, we have plenty of stories to share. Through them, come and explore Torfaen’s fascinating heritage.

Torfaen Museum WW2 Crane Street History of Torfaen CTA

The History of Torfaen

Torfaen Museum tells the story of the county through the eyes of the people who live and have lived within its rolling hills.
Torfaen Museum Japanware CTA


We hold an extensive collection of Pontypool Japanware. Crafted through the 17th cenutry, items included trays, teapots and candlesticks.
Torfaen Museum Pontypool vs All Blacks CTA

Pontypool 'Pooler' RFC

Rugby plays a huge role in the story of Pontypool, from the founding of the club in 1868, to the Pooler ‘Pride of Lions’ in the 1970s and 80s.

Meet the People of Torfaen

Through this website and by visiting the Museum, you will find opportunities to glimpse into the lives of our ancestors who lived throughout the county and across the centuries. Hear the tale of Bertram, a farmer living near 14th century Llantarnam Abbey. Discover the origins of Japanware and the family feud that almost destroyed the business. Have you ever wondered exactly what life was like for the family of a coal miner? Hear their stories and consider, would you like to have lived in their world?

About Us

Torfaen Museum was established by the Torfaen Museum Trust in 1978, a registered charity with the purpose and intention to “preserve, interpret, disseminate and celebrate local culture and bring the culture of other communities to the communities of Torfaen and beyond.”

Guided by this mission statement, the Trust has developed the Museum over the last 45 years so that it may showcase the history of Torfaen, from Pontypool town’s early foundation in the iron and tin industries to the mining communities of Blaenavon and the development of Cwmbran New Town in the 1950s. It is hoped that through its policies of collecting and interpreting these stories, the Trust may better bring to life the history of our county for both current and future generations.

The Museum itself is governed by a strong Board of Trustees and run by a small team of staff. This includes a Curator, Administrator, a team of front-of-house staff and several dedicated volunteers.

The Building and Collections

Torfaen Museum is housed in the Georgian stable block that once belonged to Pontypool Park House, home of the Hanbury family of Pontypool. Today, the arching entranceways and beautiful, cobbled courtyard still highlight the grandeur of a forgotten age while stall doors and luggage bays hint at the hard work carried out here. It is also where many of the male servants of the House once lived.

Today the building remains divided by the original bays although now they house our exhibitions rather than horses. The central courtyard provides a quiet and tranquil spot for a cup of tea or to listen to the birds in the adjoining Pontypool Park.

The collections at Torfaen Museum are wide-ranging, from household white goods of the 1950s to the Blaenavon fire engine that protected the streets in the 19th century. Our social history collection represents the lives of a wide variety of people throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, with a special focus on childhood and toys. We hold a permanent art collection while artefacts from Llantarnam Abbey and the areas surrounding Cwmbran capture glimpses of life in the Medieval era and earlier.

We also hold the national showcase of Japanware, including items from the collections of Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum of Wales. Learn more about this beautiful art on our Japanware page.

Tel: 01495 752036

Amgueddfa Torfaen Museum,
Park Buildings,


10am till 4pm



1pm till 4pm


Last admissions


Amgueddfa Torfaen Museum | Registered Charity Number: 507419