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Torfaen County Borough Bwrdeistref Sirol Torfaen

- Total

- % Water
Ranked 20th

126 km²

? %
Admin HQ Pontypoolmarker
ISO 3166-2 GB-TOF
ONS code 00PM

- Total ( )

- Density



/ km²
Ethnicity 99.2% White.
Welsh language

- Any skills
Ranked 19th


Torfaen County Borough Council

Torfaen ( ) is a county borough in Walesmarker within the historic boundaries of Monmouthshiremarker. It was originally formed in 1974 as a district of the county of Gwent and in 1996 it was reconstituted as a unitary authority.


Secondary schools in the area are:St Albans RC High Schoolmarker, PontypoolmarkerWest Monmouth Schoolmarker, PontypoolCroesyceiliog Schoolmarker, CwmbranmarkerYsgol Gyfun Gwynllywmarker, Pontypool (Welsh-language)Abersychan Comprehensive Schoolmarker, PontypoolFairwater High Schoolmarker, Cwmbran

Trevethinmarker Comprehensive, once on the site of Ysgol Gyfun Gwynllywmarker,was home to years 7 and 8 before joining up with years 9, 10 and 11 at the former County School For Girls, Penygarn in 1991. The building has since been demolished and the school closed.

Further education, vocational training and some higher education is provided at the Ponytpool Campus of Coleg Gwentmarker, formerly Pontypool College.


The name Torfaen is corrupted Welsh language for rock breaker and refers to the river that flows through the county borough from its source in Blaenavonmarker. The river in question is now known as the Afon Llwydmarker ( ).


Torfaen borders the city of Newportmarker to the south, the county of Monmouthshire to the east and the county boroughs of Caerphilly and Blaenau Gwent to the west and north-west.

Area characteristics

The area has a population of around 91,000. Much of the southern parts of the county borough are now urbanised around the Cwmbranmarker New Town conurbation. The north of the county borough is greener and retains vast acres of countryside, especially on the route to Blaenavon.

The administrative centre is Pontypoolmarker in the centre of the county borough. Most of the administration of Torfaen County Borough Council is conducted from the Civic Centre here, although facilities at the County Hall in Cwmbran are shared with Monmouthshire County Council.

Local landmarks

Torfaen, although a relatively small area, has a number of notable landmarks:

Pontypool Park

  • Pontypool Park is the name given to the former principal residence of Pontypool (now a secondary schoolmarker) and the park that surrounds it. The park contains the town's leisure centre and sports facilities and is the home of Pontypool RFC. The park includes a folly, shell grotto and ornamental ponds. Much of the area is given to woodland but there is extensive open grassland. The American Gardens were open to the public in 2008, after being closed to visitors for many years, and a restoration project is underway. Torfaen County Borough Council is currently mapping all the trees from the park to remove and then replant the dying and diseased trees.

Cwmbran Shopping Centre

  • Cwmbran Shopping Centre is advertised as the largest under-cover shopping centre in Wales. The centre includes many familiar high-street stores.

Blaenavon Booktown

  • The former mining town of Blaenavon in the northern part of the county borough is now a recognised UNESCOmarker World Heritage Site and booktown.


Torfaen is historically a safe Labour Party seat. At present the MP is Paul Murphy. Constituents in Croesyceiliog North, Croesyceiliog South, Llanyrafon North and Llanyrafon South wards are served by the Monmouth MPmarker, Conservative David Davies. Torfaen is also a Welsh Assembly Government constituency, presided over by Labour AM, Lynne Neagle.

In local elections on May 1 2008, the Labour majority of Torfaen County Borough Council failed to win 16 of its 34 seats and lost overall control. However, an agreement was reached with Plaid Cymru and 2 independent members to maintain a stable regime with Labour control.

Famous residents

Torfaen resident and trainee teacher Rachel Rice came to national attention in 2008 when she won Big Brother 2008marker in the UK. Similarly, hairdresser Helen Adams from Cwmbranmarker came second in Big Brother 2001marker.

Big Brother aside, the county is also famous for producing celebrities such as world champion boxer Joe Calzaghe, Manic Street Preachers stars Richey James Edwards , James Dean Bradfield and Sean Moore, and international rugby union player Mark Taylor.


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