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Barry Castle

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.

History of Barry Castle

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. (more in the History section)

Castle today

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.

Text by Fred Vincent