The Knap

25 January 2021 ·

Cold Knap is the site of the monument that is Glan Y Mor. This is a Roman building situated just behind the car park.

Roman Fort Excavation – The Knap – source:
An artists impression of what the Roman fort may have looked like

Cold Knap Farm still remains at the Knap and is the oldest domestic building in Barry. It was built in 1570 and extended in the 17th Century. A farmer called Richard Garby once lived in the house, and he worked for the Romilly family. He was also a well known smuggler. The farm still has many of its original period features, and there is still exists a complete Tudor wall painting of a young bride in her wedding dress with her bridal bouquet that is thought to date to 1580.

The Watchtower that looks out over the bay was built around the 1860s as a Coastguard Station.

In the 1920’s the Council acquired the Cold Knap Pebble Beach from the Romilly family. The boating lake, which is in the shape of a Welsh Harp was built, as were the beautiful gardens which also included a sunken bandstand.

The Lido

The lido was built and proved to be an extremely popular place to go. Many children grew up in Barry with memories of spending their summer holidays at the “Barrs”.

The lido was demolished in 2004 and the pool filled in. The area has been landscaped and is now a pretty garden area leading up to the Old Harbour – Watchtower Bay

Further reading:

The YMCA building, Glan-Y-Mor, was built in the 1930s. This was to provide a holiday and conference centre for the working classes. In 1939, after the war broke out, the building was requisitioned for military purposes. The building was damaged slightly during the war when a German bomb fell on the roof. Troops left the building in 1946 and it reopened for holiday purposes in the same year. The building gradually fell into disrepair as the years went by and visitor numbers declined. The YMCA sold the property in 1979 and it was demolished in 1980.


Bindle’s restaurant and ballroom opened in 1928. Bindles was equipped with a Sprung Canadian Maple dancefloor and it had modern heaters. There were light lunches and teas available, and it also had it own car park. Bindles was an incredibly popular place to be in Barry and evolved into a bar and nightclub over the years. Many local people have great memories of nights out dancing at Bindles. Unfortunately in the 1980’s it was engulfed by fire and was destroyed.

The Waters Edge hotel was built in 1960. After the YMCA building was demolished it became a care home but it closed down in 2003 and was demolished in 2005. The area has been redeveloped and apartments have been built on the site.

Pebble Beach

The Knap now

The Knap is still a great place to visit. The pebbly beach, promenade and the gardens are are a delight to walk around.

There are several tea rooms to relax in and the Knap has some very scenic views., together with a recently revamped skate park.

In category:The Knap
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