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Barry - Gazetteers

BARRY & BARRY ISLAND From "A Topographical Dictionary of Wales"by Samuel Lewis 1833

"BARRY, a parish in the hundred of Dinas-Powis, county of GLAMORGAN, SOUTH WALES, 9 miles (S. W) from Cardiff, containing 72 inhabitants. This parish is pleasantly situated on the shore of the Bristol channel, by which it is bounded on the south, and comprises but a small tract of country, of which the surface is pleasingly diversified and richly ornamented with woods of luxuriant growth, and thriving coppices of underwood. The surrounding scenery is generally pleasing, and the views extending over the channel and the adjacent country are interesting and extensive. The soil, though various, is in general fertile and productive, and the inhabitants are principally employed in agriculture. The living is a rectory, not in charge, in the archdeaconry and diocese of Llandaf, endowed with £200 royal bounty, and in the patronage of R. Jones, Esq. The church is dedicated to St. Nicholas. The average annual expenditure for the support of the poor is £28. 13."

"BARRY ISLAND, in the parish of BARRY, hundred of DINAS-POWIS, County of GLAMORGAN, SOUTH WALES, 9 miles (S. W. by S.) from Cardiff. The population is returned with the parish. This small islet, situated in a sandy bay of the Bristol channel, is separated from the main land only by a narrow isthmus, which is dry at low water : it is about one mile and a half in circumference, and comprises about three hundred acres of land, let as one farm, but chiefly in a wild state of heath and warren, abounding with rabbits, and producing only a scanty herbage for a few sheep and cattle.

Lead-ore and calamine are stated to have been formerly obtained among the limestone of which the island consists. It is supposed to have derived its name from St. Baruch, a disciple of Gisalch, who was interred here in the year 700, and, in later times, was in the possession of the family of de Barri, one of the most distinguished members of which was Giraldus de Barri, otherwise Cambrensis, who was born at Manorbeer, in the county of Pembroke, where the remains of their castle may still be seen; some of the descendants of this family afterwards settled in Ireland, and became enobled. Leland describes it as bearing " very good Corne, Grasse, and sum Wood;" and says," There ys no Dwelling in the Isle, but ther is in the midle of it a fair litle Chapel of S. Barrok, wher much Pilgrimage was usid."  Since his time a house has been erected, as a residence for the farmer, which is fitted up in summer for the reception of persons desirous of enjoying in retirement the salutary pleasure of sea-bathing.

On the western side of the island, opposite to the ruins of Barry castle, are faint vestiges of a similar structure, and of two ancient chapels, in one of which the hermit St. Baruch was interred. Towards the southern side, at a place called Nell's Point, there is a well, much resorted to on Holy Thursday by females, who, having washed their eyes with the water, each drop a pin into it, the memorial of some ancient custom, or offering to the presiding saint.

Giraldus Cambrensis, in his description of the island, gives an account of a small cavity in a rock near the entrance to it, from which, on applying the ear, proceeded a noise resembling that of blacksmiths at work, the blowing of bellows, strokes of hammers, grinding of tools, and roaring of furnaces ; and is at a loss to conjecture its cause, as the same sounds were heard at low water, as at the ebb and flow of the tide, which might produce this effect by the influx of the waters under the cavities of the rocks. Modern writers, however, have not been able to discover any cavity whence these subterraneous noises issue, and the phenomenon, if it ever existed except in a fanciful imagination, exists no longer."

 

Barry - From: A Topographical Dictionary of The Dominion of Wales by Nicholas Carlisle, London, 1811.

"BARRY, in the Cwmwd of Is Caeth, Cantref of Brenhinol (now called the Hundred of Dinas Powys), County of GLAMORGAN, South Wales; a Rectory, not in charge, of the certified value of £26.: Patron, John Edwards, Esq.: Church dedicated to St. Nicholas.  The Resident Population of this Parish, in 1801, was 70.  The Money raised by the Parish Rates, in 1803, was £47..9..10 1/2.  It is 9 m. S.W. from Caerdifff.  This Parish contains about 430 acres of Land; of which, about 50 acres are wood and coppice.  It is situate upon the Bristol Channel.  According to the Diocesan Report, in 1809, the yearly value of this Benefice, arising from Tythes, was £41..15."

 

[Last Updated : 24 Oct 2004 - Gareth Hicks]