History: The gates at the entrance to Friar’s Point estate

WE RECENTLY visited the gatehouse at Friar’s Point on Barry Island. This week, with the image kindly supplied to us from Richard Enos, we gain a glimpse of the former grandeur of the gates and gate piers at the entrance to Friar’s Point estate.

The gates and gate piers are actually protected; they are grade II Listed structures and are from what can be seen to be intact. For Mr. Karl-James Langford what makes these structures unique? Well, the amazing thing is that the wrought iron fences and gates are survivors of two World Wars that may have been acquired for the war effort, in both cases they survived that requisition.

The paint on the metal work may have seen better days at Friar’s Point, but the glory of the past when the work at the entrance had been originally completed is still there.

For the owner of most of Barry Island in the 1890s had this gateway commissioned; that leads onto a gateway, then a tree lined driveway heading towards Friar’s Point house. The owner, Lord Windsor himself, the very same that was the Chairman of the Barry Dock and Railways Company.

The wall that supports the metal fence and external flanking plinths, are made out of local Carboniferous Limestone dressed blocks. But the tall plinths holding the gates and the structures cornice stones are all of a type of Pennant sandstone from the Valleys; a type of stone associated with mining.

The iron work has very robust finials; just as could be expected with any metal work on an estate with fencing at a Lord Windsor property. The rest of the metal work is very ornate, with a floret appeal; very let’s say Georgian feel to it.

Most of the Barry and District iron gateways and stonework has alas disappeared over the years, but the examples as an entrance to Friars Point house estate on Barry Island are a memorial of times past; and ones to be proud of and safeguarded.

More of the Barry and District next week.

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