Barry – castle

History

The original timber Norman castle was erected in the 13th century by the de Barry family. At the end of the 13th century, the first two stone buildings were built within it: north-east and north-west and a defensive wall. This castle was attacked and severely damaged in 1316 during Llywelyn Bren’s revolt against English king Edward II. Soon John de Barry carried out repairs and upgrades: a large southern hall and a gatehouse were added. Already in the sixteenth century, the castle was again in ruin, only the gatehouse with the room on the first floor was used. In the eighteenth century, after probably short-term use during the civil war of the seventeenth century, the castle was completely abandoned and mostly demolished.

Architecture

The castle from the end of the 13th century had two stone corner buildings: north-east and north-west, connected by a quadrangular inner ward and surrounded by a defensive wall. In the fourteenth century, it consisted of a stone circumference of defensive walls, a building with a large hall and a gatehouse tower on the south side and two older residential buildings. The entrance led through the pointed portal with a portcullis, double doors and a drawbridge. Above there was a small room with an ogival, gothic window; perhaps it served as a chapel. The stairs to the second floor of the gatehouse were placed in the south-eastern corner of the room with the arrowslit, and the room at the top was communicated with the great hall adjacent to the building. In the building, the main hall was on the first floor and was warmed by a fireplace on the north wall. The ceiling consisted of a flatly arranged, wooden beams, supported by stone corbels. In the south-east corner there were narrow stairs in the thickness of the wall, leading to the defensive walls. In the south-west corner of the castle there was a small tower.

Current state

The fragment of the gatehouse with the ogival portal and the gothic window above has survived to the present day in the best condition. Small fragments of the walls survived on the north and east sides, where the arrowslit is also visible. Entrance to the castle is free.

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bibliography:
Kenyon J., The medieval castles of Wales, Cardiff 2010.
Website gatehouse-gazetteer.info, Barry Castle.