Barry Castle, Glamorgan
Park Road, Barry
Barry Castle was originally a ringwork earthwork fortification, built by the de Barry family. They were descendants of Odo, half-brother of William the Conqueror, and had participated in the Norman expansion into South Wales in the late eleventh and early twelfth centuries. The family took their name from their new castle but their focus continued to move west. They soon established a new family seat at Manorbier Castle in Pembrokeshire and subsequently went on to participate in the invasion of Ireland which resulted in them acquiring significant lands around South Munster. Barry Castle was reduced to a minor residence for this important family but was nevertheless significantly rebuilt in the late thirteenth century when the original fortification was replaced with a two-storey fortified manor house.
The name Barry probably takes its name from the shrine of St Barruc, located on Barry Island and established long before the Norman invasion.
Today the castle is surrounded by houses beside a main road, looking rather sad and neglected.
You can park with consideration outside the castle on the main road with easy access.
There is not a great deal to explore in the castle but sufficient remains to get some idea how it looked in its glory days.
~ History ~
1093 ~ Following Norman incursions deeper on Wales, the de Barry family acquire the manor of Barry.
1100's ~ Members of the de Barry family push further into west Wales settling in Manorbier.
1225 ~ William de Barry sees military service in Ireland fighting for King Henry II.
1232 ~ William becomes involved in William Marshalls rebellion.
1290's ~ Lucas de Barry fights for King Edward I against the Scots.
1295 ~ Lucas strengthens his castle with the building of a new gatehouse due to the ongoing threat of Welsh rebellion led by the deposed Welsh lord Madogap Llywellyn. The revolt proves so serious that the Marcher lord Gilbert de Clare is unable to subdue and has to call on King Edward I for help.
1316 ~ The castle is attacked and badly damaged by rebellious Welsh forces led by Llywelyn Bren.
1321 ~ John de Barry joins rebellious barons against King Edward II and as a direct result later forfeits his castle and estates.
1327 ~ Upon the murder of King Edward II in Berkeley Castle, John de Barry see's his castle and estates restored to him.
The castle is however later sold to the St John's of Fonmon, Lord of Penmark. He in turn leases the castle to John Andrew of Rhoose for life.
1660 ~ The castle is again sold by the St John's to Evan Says for £1,740.
1720 ~ The last remaing part of the castle still in use as a court is closed for the final time.