Museums and Galleries
Torfaen has a range of museums and galleries you can go and visit all year round. Torfaen boasts a range of heritage attractions including an 18th century ironworks with preserved cottages which were once the home of ironworkers but have now been furnished to depict the times of years gone by; the award winning Big Pit National Coal Museum where visitors can experience at first-hand what life was like for generations of miners; Llantarnam Grange Arts Centre which is the main visual arts and crafts exhibition venue in South East Wales to Pontypool Museum, our county museum where you can see the history of Torfaen.
Below you can find a brief guide to each of the main museum’s and galleries, with their opening times and admission prices, and link to their website.
Pontypool Museum (County Museum)
Tel: 01495 752036
Set in a Georgian Stable Block, with central courtyard, the Museum houses the county collection. Full of local artefacts, with an outstanding display of Japanware, interesting collections of Victorian 'domestic life', Glantorfaen Dining Furniture, Churches and Chapels, commercial history, clockmaking, Rorke's Drift and industrial Torfaen. The Museum hosts a regular temporary exhibition program, raging from Art to local interest such as the popular “pooler” exhibition in 2012. The newly launched Vintage café is a regular slot for 'selling' exhibitions for local artists.
Tues-Fri 10am-5pm, Sat/Sun & Bank Holidays 2pm-5pm.
Small entrance fee, free parking, gift shop, short walking distance to Pontypool Park and town centre.
Big Pit, National Coal Museum
Tel: 02920 397951
Award-winning world-class Museum, where visitors can experience at first-hand what life was like for the generations of miners who risked life and limb to extract the precious mineral which fuelled the Industrial Revolution. Take an underground tour with an ex-miner, marvel at the thrills of the multi-media simulation in the Mining galleries and visit the Pithead baths to find out what life was like for the thousands of Welsh miners and their families. Admission free.
Open all year round 9.30am - 5pm. Underground tours run frequently from 10am - 3.30pm February to November. Please call for times and availability of underground tours during December and January.
Blaenavon Ironworks Blaenavon
Tel: 01495 792615
South Wales's industrial history is recalled at this revealing site, one of Europe's best preserved 18th century ironworks. Visitors to the site can still trace the entire process of iron production, from the charging at "furnace top" to the casting of the molten metal in the yard below and view the small terraced cottages built for the key workers. Free admission.
April to October - daily - 10.00am-5.00pm; November to March - Fri and Sat 9.30am-4.00pm and Sun 11.00am-4.00pm (Last admission 30 mins before closing)
Blaenavon Community Museum
Tel: 01495 790991
Based in the Magnificent Workmen's Hall and run by a team of friendly volunteers, the Blaenavon Community museum celebrates the proud cultural community heritage of Blaenavon and the South Wales Coalfield.
Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri, Sat: 10am-4pm. Free admission.
Tel: 01633 648562
The refurbishment of Llanyrafon Manor was completed in 2012, and following its recent opening, the grade II listed building will now be used as a Rural Heritage Centre. The impressive building is one of the oldest, non-religious buildings in Torfaen. Visitors to the centre will be able to learn about the history of the manor, enjoy refreshments in the raspberry café and even observe bats that have set up home in the grounds.
Mon-Sun 10am-4pm. Free admission.
Llantarnam Arts Grange
St David's Road
Tel: 01633 483321
Housed in a Victorian gentleman's residence, Llantarnam Grange has three gallery spaces showing local, national and international art and craft. Conveniently located in Cwmbran town centre close to free parking, bus and train stations. Our craft shop sells ceramics, glass, jewellery and textiles by some of the best makers in the UK. Friendly cafe serving lunches and snacks. Free admission.
Monday-Friday 10.00am-5.00pm, Saturday 10.00am-4.00pm Closed Bank Holiday Mondays
Last Modified: 26/02/2019
Back to top