Barry, an urban district and seaport of Glamorganshire, Wales, on the Bristol Channel, 153 m. by rail from London and 8 m. S.W. from Cardiff. Its station is a terminus on the Barry railway, which starts at Hafod in the Rhondda Valley, where it joins the Taff Vale railway, having also junctions with the same line for Aberdare and Merthyr at Treforest, and for Cardiff and Penarth at Cogan, and with the Great Western main line at Peterstone and St Fagans. A branch from the main line at Tyn-y-caeau connects with the Rhymney railway, the London & North-Western railway, and the Brecon & Merthyr railway. The Vale of Glamorgan railway (which is worked by the Barry company and has a junction with the Great Western railway at Bridgend) affords a direct route to Barry from the Llynvi, Ogmore and Garw coalfields. The urban district of Barry, with a population in 1901 of 27,030, comprises the ecclesiastical parishes of Barry, Cadoxton, Merthyr-Dovan, and a portion of Sully in which is included Barry Island (194 acres), now, however, joined to the mainland.
The total population of this area in 1881 was only about 500, that of Barry village alone being only 85. A small brook named Barri runs here into the sea, whence the place was formerly known in Welsh as Aber-Barri, but the name of both the river and the island is supposed to be derived from Baruch, a Welsh saint of the 7th century, who had a cell on the island. His chapel (which still existed in Leland's time) was a place of pilgrimage in the middle ages. According to Giraldus, his own family derived its name de Barri from the island which they once owned. One of the followers of Fitzhamon settled at Barry about the end of the 11th century, building there a castle of which only a gateway remains. Besides the small old parish churches of Merthyr-Dovan and Cadoxton, and the rebuilt parish church of Barry, there are four modern churches (in one of which Welsh services are held). There are about thirty nonconformist chapels, in nearly a third of which the services are Welsh. There are also a Roman Catholic church, and one for German and Scandinavian seamen.
The other public buildings are a county intermediate school for 250 boys and girls, built in 1896, a free library (opened in 1892) with four branch reading-rooms, a seamen's institute, the Barry market, built in 1890 at a cost of £3500 (but now used as a concert-hall), and Romilly hall for public meetings.
Barry owes its seaport to the determination of a number of colliery owners to secure an alternative port to Cardiff, with an independent railway to it from the coalfields. After failing in 1883, they obtained parliamentary powers for this purpose in 1884, and the first sod of the new dock at Barry was cut in November of that year. The docks are 114 acres in extent, and have accommodation for the largest vessels afloat. Dock No. 1, opened on the 18th of July 1889, is 73 acres (with a basin of 7 acres) and occupies the eastern side of the old channel between the island and the mainland, having a well-sheltered deep-sea entrance. There is good anchorage between Barry and Sully islands. Dock No. 2 (34 acres) was opened on the 10th of October 1898. There are 41 acres of timber-ponds and three large graving-docks. For loading the coal there are thirty fixed and seven movable coal-hoists. The total tonnage of the exports in 1906 was 9,757,380 (all of which, except 26,491 tons, was coal), and of the imports 506,103 tons.