Former Barry Dock offices


Former Barry Dock offices

This building was constructed in tandem with the opening of Barry’s second dock in 1898. It housed the offices of the Barry Railway Company (originally the Barry Dock and Railways Co.). It was designed in Classical style by Cardiff-based Arthur E Bell, and construction was supervised by his father, James, an engineer for the company.

It boasts a clock tower and dressings of Portland stone, and is said to have 365 windows – one per day of the year. It’s the only significant surviving architecture of what was once one of Wales’ most successful businesses, and the largest company in Britain to operate an integrated system of railways and docks.

Barry docks were developed by colliery owners who were increasingly dissatisfied with the congestion and charges at Cardiff docks and on the railways to Cardiff. The instigator was David Davies, the industrialist and philanthropist whose statue stands near the building.

Barry’s first dock was the largest enclosed dock in Britain when it opened in 1889, providing modern facilities for loading coal into ships. Building the railways to connect the docks to collieries in the Taff, Rhymney and other valleys involved major engineering works including tunnels at Wenvoe and Treforest and viaducts at Taffs Well, Caerphilly and Llanbradach. The company was subsumed into the Great Western Railway in 1923.

In 1984 the dock offices, then owned by Associated British Ports, were badly damaged by fire. The building was restored and now houses Vale of Glamorgan Council offices.

Postcode: CF63 4RT    View Location Map

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