Industrial Archaeology at Cold Knap

Visitors to the Knap and the ‘Old Harbour’ would be excused for failing to notice this rusty piece of metal amongst the pebbles, but it is actually the remains of a piece of industrial archaeology.

As a youth (many years ago) I remember seeing this together with another nearer the Watchtower and wondering what it was.

In its original form it consisted of a steel post (made from a piece of narrow gauge rail) about a foot high, topped with a cast iron ‘button’ bearing the initials ‘BR’.

Now I’m happy for my explanation to be corrected, but as I understand it these posts were boundary markers for the land allocated to the Barry Dock and Railway Company following the Act of Parliament which enabled the building of Barry Docks.

It’s a shame that someone decided to sever this post in this way. Not only has an interesting piece of local history been destroyed but it has also left a very sharp and dangerous piece of rusty steel sticking out of the pebbles. Woe betide anyone who trips and falls on it.

Further along from the post is the old Watchtower. Another valuable piece of local history, it is sad to see that it is falling rapidly into disrepair. The stone window arch at the front is disintegrating, as is the surround to the side window. The pointing to the stonework of the now ‘bricked up’ front doorway is badly eroded and the stone parapet is cracked and beginning to fall away to the rear. If left, it is only a matter of time before the building becomes a ruin.

I was under the impression that the building is listed, but it appears that no-one is taking care of it and that it will soon become just a memory. What a shame.

watchtower 2017-02-25 14.47.09 BR post 2017-02-25 14.51.28