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Barry Castle

In the community of Barry.
In the historic county of Glamorgan.
Modern authority of Vale of Glamorgan.
Preserved county of South Glamorgan.

OS Map Grid Reference: ST10086722
Latitude 51.39662° Longitude -3.29380°

Barry Castle has been described as a certain Timber Castle, and also as a certain Masonry Castle, and also as a certain Fortified Manor House.

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.
This is a Grade 2* listed building protected by law*.


Ruins of a defensible mansion, built in two stages from c.1300 through to the early C14, possibly within/on the site of an earlier (C12?) castle ringwork. First mentioned when derelict in the 1530's. Three main blocks, joined by lengths of curtain wall appear to have defined a quadrangular court, c.30m N-S by 28m overall. The gatehouse, in the SE angle, used for manorial courts, 1600-1720, is the best preserved part. (Coflein)

Fortified manor established here by C12, but remains date from circa 1300-1350. Consisted of 3 blocks arranged round courtyard; with gateway at SE angle.
Local rubble with some remaining freestone dressings. Remains consist of gateway (circa 5m high) with pointed arch (chamfered voussoirs and hoodmould) and window opening above. Portcullis grooves to sides of gateway. Wall to L of gateway steps forward. Remains of 2 walls run to W of gateway (former hall block with basement below); arched doorway and slit window in rear wall (circa 2.2m high); S wall is foundations only (circa 7m long). To rear of gateway, E wall has slit window, blocked stair to SE corner. (Listed Building Report)

There is evidence that the castle occupies the site of a Romano-British farmstead. The surviving remains consist of the vestiges of three buildings which formed the south an east sides of a small quadrangular court entered at the SE angle. There is evidence for another building on the west side, and for a tower at the SW angle, both now vanished. The castle is certainly of Norman foundation; traces of hearths and pits associated with 12th century potsherds were brought to light during clearance work in the 1960s. Moreover, the circular enclosure portrayed on an estate map of 1622 may indicate a primary castle-ringwork here, like those converted to stone at nearby Sully and Penmark. The stone East building was raised in the 13th century, possibly by Lucas de Barry, while the more extensive south range (which comprised a hall and a gatehouse) was probably the work of John de Barry who held the manor for most of the first half of the 14th century. (Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust HER)

The monument comprises the remains of medieval manor house. The masonry walls are all that remains of the seat of the de Barry family. The building is really little more than a small fortified manor house, built in the 13th and 14th centuries to replace an earlier earthwork castle of which there is no trace. By the late 13th century the castle had two stone buildings on the east and west sides of a courtyard, but nothing now remains of these above ground. Early in the 14th century the castle was strengthened by the addition of a large hall and gatehouse on its south side, and it is the ruins of these that can be seen today. The gatehouse passage is arched, with a portcullis groove on the east side. As well as a portcullis it had a drawbridge and double doors. A small room above, whose outer wall and arched window survive, held the portcullis windlass and also possibly a chapel. Behind the gate passage is a rectangular room with a blocked staircase in the south-east corner and an arrowslit in the east wall. The walls of the hall block to the west are much lower, with a low arched doorway and an arrowslit on the north side. The hall itself was on the first floor, and was heated by a fireplace on the north wall. There was a narrow mural stair in the south-east corner on to a wall-walk on the curtain wall, and a door, the bottom part of which is visible, in the east wall leading to the portcullis chamber/chapel. There is evidence that the hall was roofed with Cornish slate, and had green glazed ridge tiles. (Scheduling Report)
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

Data >
Coflein   County HER   Scheduling   Listing    
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 28/06/2017 18:13:03