Barry Castle was owned by William de Barri in the twelfth century, but it was raized to the ground by Llewellyn Bren in 1316. Many believe that the Cavaliers rebuilt and that the Roundheads destroyed it again. Whatever is true, it was never rebuilt again after that.
The Norman interlopers were thoroughly hated by the local people and they had to build large mansions to defend themselves from the not infrequent raids on them by the people of the valleys and the mountains. During the time of the reign of Henry III, there were 12 castles within six miles of Barry; in Glamorgan, there were 30 castles and in South Wales as a whole there were 150 of those symbols of oppression.
Porthkerry and the church lying to its west is said to have taken its name from Ceri, who is said to have founded a port, ie ‘Port Ceri’. People say that Ceri ap Caid, the King of Essyllwg, resided in Porthkerry before the Christian era and that his bard, Corvinor, was the first to have built a ship with sails and a rudder for the race of Cymru. Some believe that Ceri was a nephew or grandson of Caractacus (Caradog) and that he assumed the leadership of the government in South Wales when Caractacus was sent to Rome.
John Wesley preached in the Porthkerry Church and sometimes outside in the churchyard too between 1741 and 1743. Today, there are two very old churches still in use in Barry: St. Cadocs Church in Cadoxton and Merthyr Dyfan Church in Merthyr Dyfan. One-hundred-and-fifty years ago, Cadoxton was the largest village in the Barry area: thus, in 1844 the Parliamentary register contained 25 names: 20 from Cadoxton and five from Barry. The one church was dedicated to St. Cadoc, who had been accustomed to spend Lent on Flat Holm and Barry Island. The village (Cadoc’s Town)took its name from the church, which was founded in 800 AD.
Merthyr Dyfan Church, which is situated in the north of Barry, was founded in 600 AD and the name means Dyfan The Martyr. There were two saints of this name. The one travelled to Barry to convert the local people to Christianity and the other lived in the sixth century. He was the son of a Welsh chieftain. His sister was also martyred and the town of Merthyr Tydfil is named in her memory.
The Christian faith grew very quickly in the Vale of Glamorgan and in the middle of the second century, the Prince of Siluria, Llewrwg, became the first king, of any country in the world in all history, to be baptized into the Christian faith. He sent to Rome for more Chritian teachers and was sent two monks named Dyfan and Fagan. Dyfan was martyred near the church and the Fagan was canonized. St. Fagan’s situated between Barry and Cardiff was named after him.