Eddie Butler traces the history of Pontypridd in this series featuring important towns and cities in Wales. A relative newcomer dating back only 250 years, Pontypridd has more than made up for its late start. Originally a crossing point on the pilgrim route to Penrhys, its stylish bridge of 1756 first put the town on the map. Then it was only a few cottages, but with the industrial revolution Ponty started to grow. First to open was the Brown Lenox chainworks, which made anchor chains for the biggest British ships of the 19th century. In the 1870s the sinking of deep coal mines saw the town's population rocket from just 5,000 to over 40,000 by 1911. But perhaps Pontypridd's biggest claims to fame are musical. The Wesh National Anthem, Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau, was written there by father and son Evan and James James. Tom Jones grew up there as did opera singers Geraint Evans and Stuart Burrows.