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town, Torfaen county borough, historic county of Monmouthshire (Sir Fynwy), Wales, in the valley of the Afon Lwyd. Lying on the eastern edge of the historic South Wales coalfield, it was an early metalworking centre, with iron smelting (from 1577) and also tinplate manufacture (the first in Britain, from 1720); in the 18th century it produced lacquered ironware known as Pontypool ware. Today it has both glass and steel industries, including stainless steel manufacture, some rubber production, and electronics manufacture. Pontypool is the administrative centre of Torfaen county borough. Pop. (2001) 35,447.