Barry Island breakwater, pier and railway, south Wales

Barry Island breakwater, pier and railway, Wales

Located at the entrance to Barry Docks to the east of Barry Island can be found this old breakwater, complete with a rusting railway track leading to the lighthouse at the end.

Built by David Davies from 1889 onwards,  Barry Docks handled vast amounts of coal from the south Wales valleys, peaking in 1913, when over 11 million tonnes of coal and coke passed through the port.

Barry Island breakwater, pier and railway, Wales

The coal export trade has now long gone, leaving the area littered with industrial archaeology and abandoned workings like this derelict breakwater.

Curious items linger on too,  like this strange building mounted on rail wheels, which can – in theory at least - traverse the rusty railway track.

Barry Island breakwater, pier and railway, Wales

The blue door and balcony of the wheeled shed. I’m guessing it’s used by fishermen or the adjacent Yacht Club.

Barry Island breakwater, pier and railway, Wales

Entrance channel to Barry Docks, with the Lifeboat slipway to the left.

Barry Island breakwater, pier and railway, Wales

Looking south east towards the Bristol Channel.

Barry Island breakwater, pier and railway, Wales

Here you can see the full length of the breakwater and the rusting single rail track.

Barry Island breakwater, pier and railway, Wales

On the western side of the breakwater can be seen a lot of demolished reinforced concrete girders.

Barry Island breakwater, pier and railway, Wales

Looking back to Barry Island (on the left).

Barry Island breakwater, pier and railway, Wales

More concrete waste.

Barry Island breakwater, pier and railway, Wales

Barry Island breakwater, pier and railway, Wales

Almost all of the track remains in situ.

Barry Island breakwater, pier and railway, Wales

The unmanned lighthouse at the end of the breakwater.

Barry Island breakwater, pier and railway, Wales

Barry Island breakwater, pier and railway, Wales

Barry Island breakwater, pier and railway, Wales

In this close up of the track, you can see the cast chair marked with GWR (Great Western Railway) which dates it to pre-1948.

The track is bullhead rail laid on wooden sleepers, and is in fairly poor condition.

Barry Island breakwater, pier and railway, Wales

Fisherman at the end of the breakwater.

Barry Island breakwater, pier and railway, Wales

The lighthouse is a circular iron tower, 11.6m high, made by Chance Brothers in 1890.

Barry Island breakwater, pier and railway, Wales

The far end of the track, close to the lighthouse.

Barry Island breakwater, pier and railway, Wales

Looking back to Barry Island.

Barry Island breakwater, pier and railway, Wales

Barry Island breakwater, pier and railway, Wales

Barry Yacht Club next to the Lifeboat station.

Barry Island breakwater, pier and railway, Wales

A last look at the strange mobile shed.

Barry Island breakwater, pier and railway, Wales

Barry Island breakwater, pier and railway, Wales

Looking south along the breakwater, you can see there’s a path to the left of the track.

Barry Island breakwater, pier and railway, Wales

This is possibly where the track ran to join up with the long abandoned Barry Pier station.

Barry Island breakwater, pier and railway, Wales

A view of the harbour from Barry Island.

Barry Island breakwater, pier and railway, Wales

To the west of the breakwater is Jackson’s Bay – this sign warns of falling rocks. Barry Island is a short 5-10 minute walk from here.

Barry Island breakwater, pier and railway, Wales

Old postcard view. Here’s a map of the area:

Barry Island breakwater, pier and railway, Wales

Discuss the Barry breakwater and railway here

More photos: Barry Island photosWales photosabandoned railways