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Tonypandy Square in 2007.jpg
Tonypandy Square (2007)
Rhondda Cynon Taf UK location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Location within Rhondda Cynon Taf
Population3,750 (2011) [1]
OS grid reference SS995925
Principal area
Ceremonial county
Country Wales
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district CF40
Dialling code 01443
Police South Wales
Fire South Wales
Ambulance Welsh
UK Parliament
Senedd Cymru – Welsh Parliament
List of places
Rhondda Cynon Taf
51°37′20″N3°27′04″W / 51.6223°N 3.4512°W / 51.6223; -3.4512 Coordinates: 51°37′20″N3°27′04″W / 51.6223°N 3.4512°W / 51.6223; -3.4512

Tonypandy /tɒnəˈpændi/ is a town and community located in the county borough of Rhondda Cynon Taf, within the historic county boundaries of Glamorgan, Wales, lying in the Rhondda Fawr Valley. A former industrial coal mining town, today Tonypandy is best known as the site of the 1910 Tonypandy riots.



Tonypandy means fulling mill lea, from Welsh ton (archaic tonnau) for lea, layland, pasture, grassland or unploughed land; pannu for fulling and for house (cf. pandy).[ citation needed ] (See also Tonna.)



The Tonypandy area contains several prehistoric sites, the main one being Mynydd y Gelli. Located to the north-west of the town, the remains of an Iron Age settlement Hen Dre'r Gelli lies on the slopes of Mynydd Y Gelli hill between Tonypandy and Gelli. Near the same location are several Bronze Age cairns. [2] :14

Tonypandy is also the site of one of two permanent Middle Ages fortifications found within the Rhondda Valley. Named Ynysygrug, it was a lesser motte and bailey earthwork defence consisting of a wooden tower surrounded by a small fortified courtyard. [2] :26 Built around the 12th or early 13th century, the remains of the fortification were mostly destroyed during railway construction works in the 19th century. The fortification was for many years wrongly thought to be the burial place of Rhys ap Tewdwr or a druidic worship site. [2] :26

The regional library service recounts that the name 'Tonypandy' means the meadow of the fulling mill which was established there in 1838. "E. D. Lewis in his work The Rhondda Valleys provides us with an outline history of the mill that once stood in Tonypandy, and from which the town took its name". [3]

Industrial era

In the mid-19th century, the Rhondda began its industrial transformation after the successful excavation of coal. With the extension of the Taff Vale Railway to Treherbert and Maerdy in 1856, the Rhondda grew as absentee landlords switched their interests from farming to mining. The Tonypandy riots of 1910 and 1911 were a series of violent confrontations between coal miners and police that took place at various locations in and around the Rhondda mines of the Cambrian Combine, a cartel of mining companies in South Wales. Tonypandy, unlike the surrounding villages, then grew as a financial and social hub, providing services and amenities for the neighbouring communities. Served by Tonypandy railway station, it is the largest shopping area in the Rhondda and is now largely pedestrianised. [4]

Sports and recreation

In the early part of the 20th century, Tonypandy was home to Mid-Rhondda RLFC, one of the first Welsh rugby league teams. [5] Although surviving only one season, the club transformed into Mid-Rhondda AFC, one of the most notable association football teams the Rhondda has produced. Both Mid-Rhondda teams played at the Athletic Ground, now known as "the Mid" . The pitch is notable as having hosted the first international match between the Wales and England rugby league teams on 20 April 1908. [6] It was also used as the opening venue for the 1908–09 Kangaroo tour of Great Britain, when the visiting Australian rugby league team began its campaign with a match against Mid-Rhondda. [7]

When the Mid-Rhondda RLFC collapsed in 1909, the committee refocused on creating an association football team. In 1912 Mid Rhondda F.C. was formed, winning the South League Second Division in 1919–20.

Notable people

See Category:People from Tonypandy

Related Research Articles

Pontypridd Human settlement in Wales

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Rhondda Cynon Taf County borough of Wales

Rhondda Cynon Taf is a county borough in south Wales. It consists of five valleys: the Rhondda Fawr, Rhondda Fach, Cynon, Taff and Ely valleys, plus a number of towns and villages away from the valleys. Results from the 2011 census showed 19.1% of its 234,410 residents self-identified themselves as having some ability in the use of the Welsh language.

Treorchy Human settlement in Wales

Treorchy is a village and community in Wales. Once a town, it retains the characteristics of a town. Situated in the county borough of Rhondda Cynon Taf in the Rhondda Fawr valley. Treorchy is also one of the 16 communities of the Rhondda. It includes the villages of Cwmparc and Ynyswen.

Llwynypia Human settlement in Wales

Llwynypia is a village and community in Rhondda Cynon Taf, Wales, near Tonypandy in the Rhondda Fawr Valley. Before 1850 a lightly populated rural farming area, Llwynypia experienced a population boom between 1860 and 1920 with the sinking of several coal mines after the discovery of large coal deposits throughout the Rhondda Valleys.

Rhondda Valley region in Wales

Rhondda, or the Rhondda Valley, is a former coalmining area in South Wales, previously in Glamorgan, now a local government district, of 16 communities around the River Rhondda. It embraces two valleys – the larger Rhondda Fawr valley and the smaller Rhondda Fach valley – so that the singular "Rhondda Valley" and the plural are both commonly used. In 2001, the Rhondda constituency of the National Assembly for Wales had a population of 72,443; while the Office for National Statistics counted the population as 59,602. Rhondda forms part of Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough and of the South Wales Valleys. It is most noted for its historical coalmining industry, which peaked between 1840 and 1925. The valleys produced a strong Nonconformist movement manifest in the Baptist chapels that moulded Rhondda values in the 19th and early 20th centuries. It is also famous for male voice choirs and in sport and politics.

Ferndale, Rhondda Cynon Taf Human settlement in Wales

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Tonypandy riots

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Penrhiwceiber Human settlement in Wales

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Treherbert Human settlement in Wales

Treherbert is a village and community situated at the head of the Rhondda Fawr valley in the county borough of Rhondda Cynon Taf, Wales. Historically part of Glamorgan, Treherbert is a former industrial coal mining village which was at its economic peak between 1850 and 1920. Treherbert is the upper most community of the Rhondda Fawr and encompasses the districts of Blaencwm, Blaenrhondda, Tynewydd and Pen-yr-englyn.

Ystrad Human settlement in Wales

Ystrad is a village and community in the Rhondda Fawr valley, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Wales.

Tonyrefail Village in South Wales

Tonyrefail is a village and community in the Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough, Wales. It is situated at the head of the River Ely; 4 miles (6.4 km) northwest of Llantrisant, about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) from Trebanog and about 2 miles (3.2 km) from Williamstown. During the second half of the 19th century, when coal and steel became synonymous with the South Wales Valleys, Tonyrefail evolved from being a rural hamlet to an industrial village. The population at the 2001 census was 11,035.

Clydach Vale Village in Rhondda Cynon Taf, Wales

Clydach Vale is a village in the community of Cwm Clydach, northwest of Tonypandy in the county borough of Rhondda Cynon Taf, within the Rhondda Valley, Wales. It is named for its situation on the Nant Clydach, a tributary of the River Rhondda.

Trealaw Human settlement in Wales

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Llantwit Fardre Human settlement in Wales

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Penygraig Human settlement in Wales

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Pentre Human settlement in Wales

Pentre is a village, community and electoral ward near Treorchy in the Rhondda valley, falling within the county borough of Rhondda Cynon Taf, Wales. The village's name is taken from the Welsh word Pentref, which translates as homestead, though Pentre is named after a large farm that dominated the area before the coming of industrialisation. The community takes in the neighbouring village of Ton Pentre.

Williamstown, Rhondda Cynon Taf Human settlement in Wales

Williamstown is a village in the Rhondda Valley in the county borough of Rhondda Cynon Taf, within the historic county boundaries of Glamorgan, Wales. Williamstown was founded in the 1870s, is located at the foot of Mynydd Dinas and is a district of neighbouring village Penygraig.

Treherbert Rugby League Football Club was a professional rugby league club based in Treherbert, Wales playing in the Welsh League and Northern Union. Based at the Athletic Ground, Treherbert were one of the first professional Welsh teams, formed in 1908 but folding after just two seasons. Treherbert also produced a single player, David Galloway, who gained international caps directly from the team.

Mid-Rhondda Rugby League Football Club was a professional rugby league club based in Tonypandy, Wales playing in the Welsh League and Northern Union. Based at the Athletic Ground in Tonypandy, Mid-Rhondda were one of the first professional Welsh teams, formed in 1908 but folding after just a single season. Mid-Rhondda later became Mid Rhondda F.C., a notable association football team in the Rhondda Valleys.

Mid Rhondda Football Club was an association football team, based in Tonypandy, Wales that was formed in 1912. Mid Rhondda were one of the earlier South Wales teams to form, as competition from rugby union within the Rhondda Valleys was very strong. The team played in both the Southern and Welsh Leagues, and should have been promoted to the first division of the Southern League after topping the second Division during the 1919–20 season. This though was denied them by a restructuring of the league, which in turn saw the club flounder and collapse by 1928.


  1. "Town population 2011" . Retrieved 17 November 2015.
  2. 1 2 3 Davis, Paul R. (1989). Historic Rhondda. Ynyshir: Hackman. ISBN   0-9508556-3-4.
  3. Heritage trail (Tonypandy) Archived 2008-08-20 at the Wayback Machine Rhondda Cynon Taf Library Service
  4. "Tonypandy...a peaceful town benefiting from a commitment to the regeneration of the Victorian town centre". Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council. Retrieved 4 April 2018
  5. Lush, Peter; Farrar, Dave (1998). Tries in the Valley: A History of Rugby League in Wales. London: London League Publications. pp. 31–32. ISBN   0-9526064-3-7.
  6. Gate, Robert (1986). Gone North: Volume 1. Ripponden: R. E. Gate. p. 141. ISBN   0-9511190-0-1.
  7. Sean Fagan Kangaroo Tour: 1908-1909 Archived 2008-05-23 at the Wayback Machine (2006) at website
  8. George Thomas (Lord Tonypandy) at Port Talbot Historical Society. Accessed 29 April 2016