History of Park House

When London was being destroyed by fire in 1666, Major John Hanbury was planning to build Pontypool Park House. John Hanbury had made his money from his successful ironworks in the town. He built his house on a natural river shelf that had once been the site of an Iron Age settlement. The house was built in a style popularised by the architect Inigo Jones.

The original house faced eastwards and Pontypool Park served as its deer park. In the 18th Century a dining room was added and a chapel was demolished at the rear of the house so an extension to the house could be built for the son of the house to live in. Inside the house the stairs were placed on the west side and the entrance moved from east facing to south facing. Beneath the house, is an extensive series of wine cellars. In the early 19th Century, the stables and the double icehouse were added.

The Hanbury Family put the house up for sale before World War I and it was sold to the Sisters of the Order of the Holy Ghost in 1923, who shortly afterwards opened a girls day and boarding school in the house. In 1963, the Order handed over control to the Archdiocese of Cardiff and it now houses St. Alban’s RC High School.