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When was it built?
Who built it?

Why was it built?
What did it look like?
What was its route?
What did it cost to build?
How was it operated?
When (and why) did it close?
What is left of it now?
How did it affect Caerleon?

We start our journey by the River Usk. When the tramroad was constructed the old wooden bridge across the river in Caerleon was still in use. It was further upriver, the other side of the Hanbury Arms, from where the stone bridge now stands. The quayside where the tramroad terminated below the Hanbury Arms can still be seen.
After the stone bridge was built, some time around 1810, the tramroad was extended to the new wharf, some of which can still be seen to the left of the bridge when approaching from Newport.

In the book "The Living Village" by SG Deane, Gordon Bennett, whose father opened the Hanbury Garage in 1926, recalled that when the forecourt was excavated to put in petrol tanks they came across the scales that were used to weigh the trams. Unfortunately nobody knows what became of the remains of this weighbridge.

From the River, the tramroad went behind the houses on Castle Street to join the end of Mill Street.

The curious curve in the Mynde walls in lower Mill Street may well have made room for a passing space or parking area. John Jenkins, who built these walls, was the operator of The Ponthir works and a major user of the track.
The track appears to have actually run in the roadway of Mill Street until it branched off near the top into what is still named Tram Road.
After crossing the road to Usk, the track followed a level route to the Caerleon Forge. From here it ran alongside the Ponthir Road (B4236 with the mill leat directly beside it.
The tramroad ran to the left of the mill leat which can just about be seen amongst the tangle of brambles and trees.
It crossed under the road just before Malt House Farm.
The archway on the left was the tramroad underpass the one on the right carried the mill leat.
The raised ground where the track ran in front of Malt House Farm can still clearly be seen. (to the right was the mill leat)
It crossed the Afon Lwyd before running in front of the Ponthir Works. Picture of bridge site. Picture of old wall.
Illustration bridge site & Ponthir works coming soon.
From here on its route is now covered by the railway.
The next evidence we find is at Llantarnam. This bridge, now used as a footbridge, most probably carried the track across the River Afon Lwyd - though at a spot further South.
It's surprising how level the whole route is, with just a gradual climb all the way. Anyone who follows this route from Ponthir to Llantarnam for the first time will be amazed how short and easy a route it is - compared with the hilly and less direct route taken by the road. A free leaflet available in Caerleon's Tourist Information Centre, "Walks in Llanfrechfa & Ponthir" (by Torfaen County Borough), gives details of walks along footpaths in the area.