|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Senedd Cymru – Welsh Parliament|
Pontypridd comprises the electoral wards of Cilfynydd, Glyncoch, Graig, Hawthorn, Pontypridd Town, 'Rhondda', Rhydyfelin Central/Ilan (Rhydfelen), Trallwng (Trallwn) and Treforest (Trefforest). The town mainly falls within the Senedd and UK parliamentary constituency by the same name, although the Cilfynydd and Glyncoch wards fall within the Cynon Valley Senedd constituency and the Cynon Valley UK parliamentary constituency. This change was effective for the 2007 Welsh Assembly election, and for the 2010 UK General Election.
The town sits at the junction of the Rhondda and Taff valleys, where the River Rhondda flows into the Taff just south of the town at Ynysangharad War Memorial Park. Pontypridd community recorded a population of about 32,700 in the 2011 census figures. while Pontypridd Town Ward itself was recorded as having a population of 2,919 also as of 2011.
The town lies alongside the north–south dual carriageway A470 between Cardiff and Merthyr Tydfil. The A4054, running north and south of the town, was the former main road, and like the A470, follows the Taff Valley. South of the town is the A473 for Llantrisant and Pencoed. To the west is the A4058, which follows the River Rhondda to Porth and the Rhondda Valley beyond.
Pontypridd is noted for its Old Bridge, a stone construction across the River Taff built in 1756 by William Edwards. This was Edwards' fourth attempt, and, at the time of construction, was the longest single-span stone arch bridge in the world. Rising 35 feet (11 m) above the level of the river, the bridge forms a perfect segment of a circle, the chord of which is 140 feet (43 m). Notable features are the three holes of differing diameters through each end of the bridge, the purpose of which is to reduce weight. On completion, questions were soon raised as to the utility of the bridge, with the steepness of the design making it difficult to get horses and carts across. As a result, a new bridge, the Victoria Bridge, paid for by public subscription, was built adjacent to the old one in 1857. Pontypridd was known as Newbridge from shortly after the construction of the Old Bridge until the 1860s.
The history of Pontypridd is tied to the coal and iron industries; before their development Pontypridd was a hamlet of a few farmsteads, with Treforest initially becoming the main urban settlement in the area. Sited at the junction of three valleys, it became an important location for transporting coal from the Rhondda and iron from Merthyr Tydfil, first by the Glamorganshire Canal, and later by the Taff Vale Railway, to the ports at Cardiff, Barry and Newport. Its role in coal transport lengthened its railway platform, which is thought to have once been the longest in the world in its heyday. Pontypridd in the second half of the 19th century was a hive of industry, once nicknamed the "Wild West". There were several collieries within the Pontypridd area itself, including:
- Albion Colliery, Cilfynydd
- Bodwenarth Colliery, Pontsionnorton
- Daren Ddu Colliery, Graigwen & Glyncoch
- Dynea Colliery, Rhydyfelen
- Gelli-whion Colliery, Graig
- Great Western/Gyfeillion Colliery, Hopkinstown
- Lan Colliery, Hopkinstown
- Newbridge Colliery, Graig
- Pen-y-rhiw Colliery, Graig
- Pontypridd/Maritime Collieries, Graig & Maesycoed
- Pwllgwaun Colliery/'Dan's Muck Hole', Pwllgwaun
- Red Ash Colliery, Cilfynydd
- Ty-Mawr Colliery, Hopkinstown & Pantygraigwen
- Typica Colliery, Hopkinstown & Pantygraigwen and
- Victoria Colliery, Maesycoed
As well as deep-mined collieries, there were many coal levels and trial shafts dug into the hillsides overlooking the town from Cilfynydd, Graig, Graigwen, and Hafod. The Albion Colliery in the village of Cilfynydd in 1894 underwent one of the worst explosions in the South Wales coalfield, with the death of 290 colliers (see Keir Hardie).
Iron and steel
Other instrumental industries in Pontypridd were the Brown Lenox/Newbridge Chain & Anchor Works south-east of the town, and Crawshay's Forest Iron, Steel & Tin Plate Works and the Taff Vale Iron Works, both in Treforest near the now University of South Wales.
Pontypridd Urban District Council operated from 1894 to 1974, when it was incorporated into Taff Ely Borough Council. That in turn came under the unitary Rhondda Cynon Taf Council in 1995. Pontypridd Town Council functions as a community council. Labour is the dominant political force and has been since the First World War. The community elects 23 town councillors from 11 community wards: Cilfynydd, Glyncoch, Graig, Hawthorn, Ilan, Pontypridd, Rhondda, Rhydfelen Central, Rhydfelen Lower, Trallwng and Treforest.
Pontypridd community comprises the town centre itself, as well as the following key villages/settlements:
- Coedpenmaen (Coed-Pen-Maen)
- Glyntaff (Glyn-Taff)
- Graigwen & Pantygraigwen
- Hawthorn (Y Ddraenen-Wen)
- Hopkinstown (Trehopcyn)
- Maesycoed (Maes-y-Coed)
- Pontsionnorton (Pont Sion Norton)
- Rhydyfelin (Rhydfelen)
- Trallwn (Trallwng)
- Treforest (Trefforest)
- Upper Boat (Glan-Bad)
Pontypridd also serves as the postal town for the community of Llantwit Fardre under the CF38 postcode district, although this area is not considered part of Pontypridd.
Pontypridd came into being because of transport, as it was on the drovers' route from the south Wales coast and the Bristol Channel, to Merthyr, and onwards into the hills of Brecon. Although initial expansion in the valleys occurred at Treforest due to the slower speed of the River Taff at that point, the establishment of better bridge building meant a natural flow of power to Pontypridd.
The establishment of Pontypridd over Treforest was finally confirmed with the building of the Glamorganshire Canal to serve the coalmines of the Rhondda valley. However, the volumes of coal extraction soon led to construction of the Taff Vale Railway, which at its peak meant in a train passed through Pontypridd railway station (including the freight lines immediately to its west) every two or three minutes. The station was originally built as a long single island, at one point the world's longest platform, a reflection of both the narrow available geography of the steep valley side and the need to accommodate many converging railways lines at what became the 19th-century hub of the valleys.
Due to the restrictive geography, only parcels and mail were handled at Pontypridd. Heavy freight went to Treforest. The station today is operated by Transport for Wales, which is headquartered in the town. It reflects the fewer destinations served since the Beeching and earlier cuts, with one up (valley) platform, one down (through) platform, a down bay platform (opened December 2014), and only one passing loop.
Trams, trolleybuses, and buses
A tram service began on 6 March 1905 from Cilfynydd through Pontypridd to Treforest. It gave way on 18 September 1930 to trolleybuses, which on 31 January 1957 were replaced by buses that replicated the route. Today's bus services are mainly provided by Trevor Evans on the Newtown, Bargoed, Talbot Green and Bridgend services), and Stagecoach in South Wales on long-distance routes to Cardiff, Rhondda, Cynon Valley, Merthyr Tydfil, Caerphilly etc.)
- Pontypridd County Intermediate and Technical School was built in 1895 as a co-educational school, in Tyfica Road, later becoming Pontypridd County Grammar School for Boys. In 1973, it became the Coedylan Comprehensive School, and is now the Pontypridd High School in Cilfynydd on the west side of the A4054.
- Hawthorn High School is near the A4054 in Hawthorn (south-east of the town)
- Pontypridd Grammar School for Girls was in Glyntaff Road in Glyntaff.
- Bryn Celynnog Comprehensive School is on Penycoedcae Road in Beddau
- Cardinal Newman RC School is on Dynea Road in Rhydyfelin
- Ysgol Gyfun Garth Olwg is on the A473 in Church Village (south of the town)
- The University of South Wales is in Treforest (south of the town), next to the A473
Entertainment and social history
Sport and recreation
- Ynysangharad War Memorial Park, opened by Field Marshal Viscount Allenby on 6 August 1923, features a bandstand, pitch-and-putt golf course, a lido swimming pool (dubbed the National Lido of Wales), tennis courts, lawn bowls greens, a football pitch, a cricket pitch, and memorials to the war dead of Pontypridd and to the composers of the Welsh national anthem. It has also hosted festivals and music concerts, including the annual Ponty's Big Weekend festival.
- Pontypridd hosts Pontypridd Rugby Football Club, one of Wales's notable rugby union clubs, with a successful junior rugby and age-grade sections. It frequently contribute players to the national team. Formed in 1876, Pontypridd RFC play in the Principality Premiership, SWALEC Cup and the British and Irish Cup. Pontypridd RFC plays its home games at Sardis Road, with its junior section playing at Taff Vale Park and Pontypridd High School Fields, Cilfynydd.
- Pontypridd Town A.F.C. is a Welsh football club which has gained some success in the Welsh football league.
- Speedway racing was staged at Taff Vale Park in the town's Broadway area in 1929/1930.
- Pontypridd Bowls Club plays in the top division in the Cynon Valley, Mid Glamorgan and the Cardiff League, having been promoted in all three divisions after the 2009 season. Home games are played at Ynysanghard Park.
- Pontypridd has a community radio station GTFM which broadcasts to the county of Rhondda Cynon Taf on 107.9FM. Its studios are in Rhydyfelin, near Cardinal Newman School. It offers local news and information and a wide variety of music, while providing volunteering and training opportunities.
- The Pontypridd and Llantrisant Observer is the local newspaper.
- Pontypridd has a digital media scene, with various companies having offices there.
- The Welsh national anthem ‘Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau’ (Land of my Fathers) was composed in Pontypridd by local poets/musicians Evan James and James James.
- Pontypridd was home to the eccentric Dr. William Price who performed the first modern cremation in the United Kingdom.
- Pontypridd hosted the National Eisteddfod in 1893.
- Côr Meibion Pontypridd (Pontypridd Male Voice Choir) 
- Pontypridd is home to the world renowned International Welsh Poetry Competition, the biggest in Wales. 
- Tom Jones, born on 7 June 1940 at 57 Kingsland Terrace, Treforest, and the world-famous son of Pontypridd frequently references his hometown in interviews. A 65th birthday concert was held at the town's Ynysangharad Park at which he headlined.
- The band Lostprophets was formed here.
In popular culture
- The name of the fictional Welsh town of Pontypandy, in which children's television programme Fireman Sam is situated, is a portmanteau of Pontypridd and Tonypandy.
- The Welsh TV show Belonging was shot in Pontypridd.
- The BBC's Doctor Who and Torchwood have filmed at various location in and around Pontypridd, such as at the Market Tavern pub in Market Street and the Lido in Ynysangharad Park. Other locations:– Treforest, Hawthorn, Graigwen, Upper Boat, Trallwng, and Ynysybwl.
Pontypridd is twinned with Nürtingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Initial contact was made between the two towns in 1965, with a visit by Côr Meibion Pontypridd Welsh male voice Choir to a choir called Liederkranz ("Coronet of Songs") based in the Oberensingen area of Nürtingen. The visit was returned a year later. Reciprocal choir visits have continued and the partnership prompted Pontypridd Urban District Council to join with Nürtingen in a formal twinning relationship, under an agreement signed in July 1968 by John Cheesman, Mayor of Pontypridd, and Karl Gonser, Mayor of Nürtingen.
Pontypridd is also twinned with Mbale, Uganda, since an official twinning ceremony in 2005, following links by local churches and health-care workers under the charitable Partnerships Overseas Networking Trust.
In alphabetical order:
- Robert Bye (1889–1962), recipient of the Victoria Cross in World War I
- Stuart Burrows (born 1933) and Geraint Evans (1922–1992), opera singers, were born in Cilfynydd.
- Phil Campbell (born 1961) of Motörhead, Gareth Davies and Darran Smith ex-members of Funeral for a Friend
- Climbing Trees, indie-folk band, formed in Pontypridd in 2011.
- Catrin Collier (born 1948), novelist, had the Ty Catrin adult education centre in Pontypridd named in her honour in 2002.
- Evan James (1809–1878) and James James (1832–1902), writers of Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau, the national anthem of Wales
- Alan Wayne Jones (born 1945), forensic toxicologist
- David Lloyd Jones (born 1952), Judge of the High Court (QBD), Lord Justice of Appeal, and first Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom to come from Wales was educated at Pontypridd Boys' Grammar School.
- Tom Jones (born 1940), singer, was born at 57 Kingsland Terrace in village of Treforest.
- David Kelly (1944–2003), specialist in biological warfare, attended Pontypridd Boys’ Grammar School.
- Lostprophets alternative metal band formed in 1997.
- Elaine Morgan (1920–2013), scriptwriter and anthropologist
- Kimberley Nixon (born 1985), actress
- William Price (1800–1893) carried out the first cremation in the UK in modern times on Llantrisant Common.
- Chris Slade (born 1946), drummer for AC/DC and Asia
- Ian Watkins, convicted sex offender and former lead singer of Lostprophets
- Tasker Watkins (1918–2007), VC, Lord Justice of Appeal, deputy Lord Chief Justice, and President of the Welsh Rugby Union, was educated at Pontypridd Boys' Grammar School
- Danny Canning (1926–2014), Colin Gale (1932–2008), Richard Haig (born 1970), Ceri Hughes (born 1971), Pat Mountain (born 1976), Jason Price (born 1977) and Owain Warlow (born 1987), association footballers
- Jamie Donaldson (born 1975), professional golfer
- Harri Greville (born 1990), rugby league footballer
- John Gwilliam (1923–2016), Neil Jenkins (born 1971), Kevin Morgan (born 1977), Michael Owen (born 1980), Richard Parks (born 1977), Russell Robins (1932–2019), Ceri Sweeney (born 1980), Martyn Williams (born 1975) and Gareth Wyatt (born 1977), Welsh international rugby players
- Sheila Laxon (living) was the first female horse trainer to win the Australian "cups double": the Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup.
- Peter Turnbull (born 1989), first-class cricketer
- Freddie Welsh (1886–1927), world champion boxer
- Tobin, Patrick F. (1991). The Bridge and the Song, Some chapters in the story of Pontypridd. Bridgend: Mid Glamorgan County Libraries. ISBN 1-872430-05-8.
- "Town population 2011". Archived from the original on 17 November 2015. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
- http://pontypriddtowncouncil.gov.uk/[bare URL]
- CHK (7 December 2007). "Rhondda Cynon Taf Local Development Plan". www.cartogold.co.uk. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
- "The Parliamentary Constituencies and Assembly Electoral Regions (Wales) Order 2006, Schedule 1". Legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 2 September 2021.
- The Welsh Academy Encyclopaedia of Wales. John Davies, Nigel Jenkins, Menna Baines and Peredur Lynch (2008) pg692 ISBN 978-0-7083-1953-6
- The urban area with nearby communities has about 55,000.  Archived 26 February 2008 at the Wayback Machine
- Office of National Statistics
- Williams, Huw (1981) Pontypridd: Essays on the History of an Industrial Community. University College, Department of Extra-Mural Studies.
- Ellis, Lucy (2009). Tom Jones Close Up. 0711975493
- "The Rhondda Cynon Taf (Communities) Order 2016" (PDF). Legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
- 'Pontypridd and The Taff Vale Railway', E. Mountford, in The Railway and Industrial Heritage of Pontypridd & District p. 16 (1985), Taff-Ely BC.
- Fields of Praise, The Official History of the Welsh Rugby Union 1881–1981 pp26, David Smith, Gareth Williams (1980)
- "British and Irish Cup draw announced | Club News | News & Views". Ponty.net. 13 May 2013. Archived from the original on 4 March 2012. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
-  Archived 13 November 2006 at the Wayback Machine
- "Home town welcomes back Tom Jones". BBC News. 28 May 2005. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
- "Wales – Arts – Children – Fireman Sam". BBC. 11 February 2009. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
- The History of Twinning in Rhondda Cynon Taf RCT Website
- Are Pontypridd and Rhondda Cynon Taf really twinned with places in Uganda?, PONT FAQS and PONT Background Archived 1 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine
- "Catrin Collier". ContactAnAuthor. Archived from the original on 14 October 2008. Retrieved 2 June 2013.
- "The Supreme Court – Biographies of the Justices". www.supremecourt.uk. Retrieved 26 August 2021.
- Pontypridd Town Council: official website of Pontypridd Town Council
- Pontypridd Town website & forum: Official Pontypridd Town website
- Ponty.net: Pontypridd Rugby Football Club's official website
- GTFM: GTFM - Local Radio & local News for the Pontypridd area
- Pontypridd Male Voice Choir: Côr Meibion Pontypridd
- British strike – extra fodder for pit ponies, Pontypridd Photo from the Library of Congress's George Grantham Bain Collection
- Aerial photograph of Pontypridd
- The history of Pontypridd
- Pontypridd Trolleybus Pontypridd trolleybus during World War II
- International Welsh Poetry Competition International Welsh Poetry Competition based in Pontypridd
- Definitive guide to eating well in Pontypridd Walesonline guide to places to eat in Pontypridd
- International Poetry Book Awards International Poetry Book Awards based in Pontypridd