Hope Methodist Church
Beginning in the late 19th/early 20th century, as a small village in the township of Llanfrechfa Upper, Pontnewydd has grown rapidly since the start of the Cwmbran New Town development in 1949. Locally, it is known as 'The Village'. Pontnewydd has its main commercial centre along Commercial Street, Richmond Road, New Street & Chapel Street.
The village as part of the new town
Cwmbran was designated as a new town under the New Towns Act 1946. It was intended primarily to provide homes near work for those employed in the area and also to provide social and commercial facilities as well as to preserve open spaces, aiming for a balanced and self-contained community. Cwmbran’s original population was 12,000 of whom most lived in Pontnewydd and Old Cwmbran.
Northville is a large and enclosed housing estate that lies between Pontnewydd and Croesyceiliog. Being the first set of housing developments after the start of Cwmbran New Town in 1949, its residents in the early 1950s worked in the booming post-war industry around the New Town.
West Pontnewydd is a residential area in the north-west of Cwmbran. Built in the late 1950s and early 1960s, it hosts a pub, congregation centre, a row of commercial units and Birches Park.
The Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal splits the district roughly in half: it enters the district at the Five Locks Estate, divides the Lowlands and South Pontnewydd areas into two and continues down through Forge Hammer, towards Old Cwmbran. Since the New Tpwn development culverted sections of the canal, it is not presently navigable, but provides a route for cyclists and walkers. There are also many parks and recreation grounds surrounding Pontnewydd and the Lowlands area: Pontnewydd Park, Brookland Park, The Rec, Glen Park, Clarksfield and Pontnewydd Rugby Club. Pontnewydd United FC play their home games at Ponthydrun.
Historically the area was dominated by heavy industry, revolving around the local coal and iron industries. Today the industrial landscape has completely changed, and consists entirely of light industry, represented around the village in neighbouring industrial estates: Avondale Park, Forge Hammer and Springvale.
The Monmouthshire Railway and Canal Company railway line from Newport to Blaenavon ran through the village until it was removed in the early 1980s. Upper Pontnewydd railway station (closed to passengers in 1962) was situated on this line. Cwmbran Drive was then built in the late 1980s, along the bed of the disused railway that bisects the village.
Lower Pontnewydd railway station on the Pontypool, Caerleon and Newport Railway was 300 yards north of the current site of Cwmbran railway station off Station Road, and closed to passengers in 1958.