The Men And Women Who Built And Shaped Barry

22 February 2021 ·

Barry and the surrounding areas were very rural until the building of Barry Docks. The area grew rapidly and many people were involved in the planning, building and development of the area..

Some of the people involved included :

John Romilly 1802 – 1874

John Romilly who donated many of the towns parks to the people of Barry. This included Romilly Park and Porthkerry Park. Romilly Road is named after him.

Sir David Davies

David Davies was born in Llandinam in 1818. He was responsible for building most of the railway system in mid- Wales and was the driving force behind the construction of Barry docks.

Henry Marc Brunel 1842 – 1903

Henry Marc Brunel was the second son of English engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel. In 1878, he entered into a partnership with Sir John Wolfe-Barry. Together they designed the docks at Barry, along with several other places.

Sir John Wolfe – Barry 1836 – 1918

Sir John Wolfe-Barry was an English Civil Engineer who was responsible for the construction of Tower Bridge in London. Sir John also built the Lady Windsor Lock and was a consultant engineer during the construction of Barry Docks. 

Thomas Andrew Walker 1828 – 1889

Thomas Andrew Walker was a civil engineer who was responsible for the construction of Barry Dock and the railways. He was also responsible for building the Severn Tunnel

Sir James Weeks Szlumper 1834-1926

Sir James was the architect for the bridges for the Barry Railway and also Porthkerry Viaduct. The Viaduct opened in 1897 as part of the Vale of Glamorgan Railway from Barry to Bridgend. It was first completed in 1896, but parts of the viaduct subsided in 1898, and the railway had to be diverted until 1900. The viaduct was one of the last major masonry viaducts completed in Britain.

Sir John Jackson 1851- 1919

Sir John Jackson was the contractor for the Lady Windsor Lock, Commercial Dry Dock and the Breakwater. Jacksons Bay was originally known as Breakwater Bay but locals called it Jacksons bay after him.

Joseph Rank 1854 – 1943

Joseph Rank was the founder of Joseph Rank Limited. This was once one of the UK’s largest flour milling and bakery companies.  Joseph built Atlantic Mills (Ranks Mill) in 1904 by No 2 dock. Flour was produced here for over 100 years until it closed in 2013.

John Claxton Meggitt 1858 – 1950

John came to Barry in 1884 as the construction of the docks was just beginning. He was a timber merchant, who also had an interest in the local community. In 1895, at the first annual meeting of the new Barry Urban District Council, John was elected chairman. In 1891, he bought 34 Kingsland Crescent, and gave it to the Barry Nursing Association. In 1898 he resigned as an Alderman on Glamorgan County Council and was re-elected. As a JP, he dealt with criminals at court. In 1896 he became a governor of Barry County School.


Billy Butlin 1899 – 1980

Billy Butlin had a nightmare holiday where he was locked out of his B&B all day, so decided to build Barry Island Butlins. This was an incredibly successful camp until its closure in 1986.

Amy Evans 1860 – 1925

Sister Amy Evans was the first nurse of the Barry & District Nursing Association in 1891. When the Nursing Association became the General Accident and Surgical Hospital, she became the Lady Superintendent. She resigned following a dispute in 1898, and took over a hotel in Holton Road that became the Amy Evans Hospital.

Photo: Victorian Barry Dock Experience

Mary Lennox 1915-2000

Dr Mary Lennox was the first female Medical Officer of Health for Barry. She was responsible for investigating the link between salmonellae in the abattoirs, shops, factories and meat products.
Lennox Green is named after her.

Laura Francis Jenner 1852 – 1926

Laura Frances Jenner from Wenvoe Castle owned the land where Jenner Park is built. She leased the land to Barry AFC in 1920, and the stadium is named after her and her family. Any mention of Jenner in the town is linked to the Jenner

Mary Holland 1884 – 1968

Mary Holland was the first female Mayor of Barry in 1945. Throughout her first year, she negotiated for the chemical works to be brought to Barry. She was re- elected in 1957 and the street Holland Way is named after her.

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