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Sebastopol, named after Sevastopol 

South Street, Crown in centre of image
Sebastopol is a small village in South Wales, UK., but how was the name decided upon?    

Its name is derived from Sevastopol (originally spelt 'Sebastopol) on the Crimean Peninsula in Ukraine.  This has always been a strategic port with a current population of over 300,000.     There were several towns and villages called 'Sebastopol,' across the world, but many have disappeared.  The internet, however, reveals we are not alone, there is another thriving community in California, USA.

The news of the fall of Sebastopol in 1855, with victory achieved by the British and French against the Russian forces, reached Pontypool in the South Wales valleys, on the evening of Monday, 11th September of that year.   Great celebrations ensued in the town itself and surrounding district.
Woodland Terrace facing Greenhill Road

The population of the Parish of Panteg just south of Pontypool, had grown rapidly in size from 550 in 1801 to 2432 in 1851, due to the success of the iron works, the canal, the railways, and the local farm produce being in great demand to feed everyone.
Cottages on Greenhill Road adjoining Woodland Terr.

Two rows of houses, were built close to the Old Crown Public House.   A row of houses south of the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal, known as Steedman's Terrace and a small row of 11 houses just north of the same canal, known as Woodland Terrace (later Whitewash Row).   These, with a few outlying farms and cottages were the original structure for the village of Sebastopol.
Page's Fish & Chip Shop, South Street, Sebastopol
Alas, little remains of Steedman's Terrace. Woodland Terrace has been demolished and replaced with houses and a block of flats.   However, one original structure still exists and houses Page's Fish & Chip Shop, opened in 1949 and widely renowned throughout the area.

How do you choose a name for a village?
It is believed a group of tenants and landowners, including Mr Steedman of Steedman's Terrace, held a meeting, possibly at the Waterloo Public House.  They decided on the boundaries, and the unusual name that was the current news of the day, Sebastopol.

Two Facebook Groups that may be of interest:  
'Old Pontypool,'  
'Pontypool Past & Present'


1 Answer

+2 votes

Yes, I have to keep saying...Wales may be small in size (relatively speaking), but more and more I realize they have everything there!