Pontypridd Museum occupies Tabernacl Chapel, at the north end of the town. The chapel was built in 1861, and still has its pipe-organ and unusually decorative interior, which has recently been restored. It was purchased by Pontypridd Town Council in 1983 and re-opened as the town’s museum in 1986.
The museum depicts the industrial, social and cultural history of Pontypridd, emphasizing the distinctive history of the town. Paintings and other works of art celebrate William Edwards’ bridge, close to the museum, which was built in 1756 and became famous as the first in Europe to exceed the span of the Rialto in Venice. Personal items belonging to Evan and James James remind us that the Welsh national anthem was composed here in 1856.
We highlight the achievements of well-known Pontypridd musicians, singers and sportspeople as well as popular crafts from nineteenth-century sampler-making to twentieth-century pigeon racing. We are now trying to collect evidence to illustrate the mixed origins of the people of the town, mostly Welsh, English and Irish, but also Italian, Jewish, Polish and other more recent arrivals.
In addition to our permanent exhibition, which is augmented as donations are received and objects are purchased, we have gallery spaces for temporary exhibitions. These include historical exhibitions drawn from our own collections or those of local historians or archaeologists, art exhibitions by local art societies or individual artists, photographic exhibitions by local photographers and clubs from all over Wales, and science and technology exhibitions designed to meet the needs of primary schools.
Our collections are consulted by people researching local history, and we provide information in response to enquiries.
We offer local history guided walks for schools and adult groups, and we publish local history leaflets and books. We also give talks on a variety of historical subjects to outside organisations.
Pontypridd Museum is owned and staffed by Pontypridd Town Council.