Griffithstown is a large and affluent suburb of Pontypool in the borough of Torfaen. It is an ecclesiastical parish, formed in May, 1898, from Llanfrechfa Upper and Panteg, and includes Sebastopol, but, under the provisions of the Local Government Act 1894, became a separate civil parish. It situated between two other Pontypool suburbs - Pontymoile to the north and Sebastopol to the south and is within walking distance of Pontypool and Cwmbran and a short commute from Newport and Cardiff. It is named after the ex-station master of Pontypool and New Inn railway station (then known as Pontypool Road), Henry Griffiths. Griffiths lived in the now demolished St. Dunstan's manor-house on what is now Commercial Street. Today the site is occupied by a nursing home and a modern house of the same name.
This area contains mostly Victorian and Edwardian terraced houses and is located below Sunnybank Road on the east side of the town. The area includes the shopping precinct of Windsor Road; Griffithstown Infant & Junior Schools (the town's secondary school needs are met by nearby West Monmouth School in Pontypool); St Hilda's Church (Anglican), Griffithstown Baptist Church; Griffithstown Congregational Evangelical Chapel as well as numerous pubs and the old railway club (known colloquially as "The Oily Rag"). County Hospital is also located here, as is Panteg Medical Centre. The town is also home to Griffithstown Railway Museum.
This area above Sunnybank Road has some fine Victorian / Edwardian buildings but is mostly made up of 1960's and 70's estate housing. The area is considered to be highly desirable and affluent with property prices here being some of the highest in the Torfaen borough. Like most anonymous estate sprawls, there is little infrastructure in this part of Griffithstown and residents here must walk to The Village for use of shops, churches and schools.
Parkland & Countryside
The town has two principal parks and one parkland estate known as Panteg House (home of Panteg Cricket Club and Pontypool Boules team). Griffithstown Park near Sunnybank Road contains an adventure playground and basket-ball courts, but is mostly grass. The Panteg Park on Cwrdy Road (known as "The Fish Pond Park" due to its famous water feature) is smaller with elaborate flower-gardens, bowling green, tennis courts and putting greens. Panteg House is home to a cricket pitch, rugby pitch and tennis courts. It also has a bowling green.
The Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal runs through Griffithstown on its way to Newport via Cwmbran.
Griffithstown has suffered from modern development in recent years. The town, formerly holding a village-esque air, is now much larger than in previous generations. Small developments such as Museum Court, Open Hearth Close and the currently under-construction Churchwood estate will bring more people to the town over the next five years. The demise of the steelworks resulted in heavy job losses, although this hit the poorer surrounding communities more than Griffithstown itself as the residents of Griffithstown typically commute to work in larger towns such as Cwmbran or Newport.
It was recently announced (June 2006) that both Griffithstown Infant School and Griffithstown Junior School were to be closed and replaced with a new Community School on the junior school site. It is currently unknown what is to become of the 150 year old Griffithstown Infant School building on Oxford Street.