The tramway received parliamentary authorisation on 23 May 1818. Construction started immediately and was completed in two sections. The tramway was built to a gauge of 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm). The tramway adopted the use of cast iron 'L'-shaped tramroad plates in its construction. The vertical portions of the two plates were positioned inside the wheels of the tramway wagons and the plates were spiked to stone blocks for stability. The first section from Eardisley to Kington was opened on 1 May 1820. The western section from Kington to quarries at Burlingjob, 3 miles (4.8 km) east of New Radnor opened on 7 August 1820.
Operation of the tramway
For the tramway's opening, an end-on connection was made with the Hay Railway, also a 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) plateway. This co-operative arrangement allowed the through working of wagons, pulled by horses, along a continuous 36-mile (58 km) line to wharves on the Brecknock and Abergavenny Canal.
The tramway was intended solely for the carriage of goods and minerals, and therefore did not carry any passengers.
Merger and subsequent use
The Kington Tramway was acquired by the Kington and Eardisley Railway in 1862. The new company used much of the line of the tramway to build its standard gauge railway, utilising normal rails and steam locomotives, between Eardisley and Kington.