Humans have lived in Barry for many centuries. Mesolithic flint tools have been found at Friar’s Point on Barry Island, and Neolithic polished stone axe heads found at nearby St Andrew’s Major. Urns containing cremation ashes found within Bronze Age barrows on Barry Island and Cold Knap Point, suggest that the area continued to be inhabited through to the Iron Age, when a large defended enclosure or hillfort was built at the Bulwarks at Porthkerry. Bronze Age burial mounds have also been found at Cold Knap and Friars Point.
The Romans arrived and built a large building at the Knap (Glan Y Mor) believed to have been a supply depot for their Bristol Channel fleet. Finds suggesting that they farmed the area have been unearthed at the site of Barry Castle and Biglis, and both St Nicholas and St Baruc’s Chapel have re-used Roman bricks and tiles as part of their construction.