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Introduction

here is no hard evidence that there was a village in Bray before the coming of the Anglo-Normans, but it seems likely that a settlement grew up around the ford on the river near the church of Derdach (St. Paul's) No.1

The first Anglo-Norman settlement in Bray was carried out by Walter de Riddlesford. In 1173 de Riddlesford built a castle in Bray. This castle is no longer in existence. It was built on a rocky promontory at the rear of a house named 'Clonmore' on the Herbert Road. No.2 where the site can be seen by walking up Church Terrace, also to be seen in Church Terrace are St. Paul's Church and Churchyard and the remains of Bray Military Barracks No.3. Nearby is Bray Bridge. The first bridge on this site was built in 1666 and the existing one was built in 1856. No.4 There was three other castles built in the Bray area, Little Bray Castle built in 1459 is no longer in existence, the site is now a supermarket car park No.5 Oldcourt Castle built by the Earl of Ormond in 1433 No.6 and Fassaroe Castle built by 'Master Tresover' in 1536 No.7 Other antiquities to be seen in the Bray area are St. Valery's Cross No.8 which is not far from Fassaroe Castle, Kilsaran Cross No.9 which can ben seen at Fairy Hill, Kilcroney Church in the grounds of Kilcroney House No.10 and Raheen-a-Cluig No.11 the ruins of a 13th century church on the lower slopes of Bray Head.

The following are some of the films made on location in the Bray area.
1. Far and Away starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman - Kilruddery House 2. Henry V - starring Laurence Olivier - Powerscourt. 3. Michael Collins - starring Liam Neeson and Julia Roberts - Carlisle Grounds. 4. The Commitments - directed by Alan Parker - Bray Head Hotel. 5. The Miracle - directed by Neil Jordan - The Promenade. 6. My Left Foot - starring Daniel Day Lewis and Brenda Fricker - St. Kevin's Square.

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Walk Number 4:
A walk around the streets of Bray starting and finishing at the Bray (Daly) Railway Station. Distance 5 kilometers approx. Time 1.1/2 hours Degree of Difficulty Very Moderate

eaving (Daly) Bray station we cross the road and turn right, walking to the corner and then across the Quinsborough Road to the War Memorial. This memorial commemorates the 155 Bray men who died in the 1st World War No.12. Turning left we pass the Carlisle Grounds No.13 home of Bray Wanderers A.F.C. (The Seagulls) est. 1922. The turning to the right brings us onto Seymour Road, named after the Seymour's, a family of merchants. The Seymour\s were ship owners and brewers who built a dock at the mouth of the River Dargle in the late 18th century. Unfortunately this dock became landlocked in the 1850s with the building of the railway bridge. Mrs Francis Seymour was the author of a book on local history entitled 'A Hundred years of Bray and its Neighbourhood' a description of the town between 1770 and 1870. The building on the left hand side, on the corner of Seymour Road and Duncairn Lane was the studio of the sculptor and painter Yann Renard Goulet RHA No.14 At the end of the road we reach the junction with Seapoint Road. Liam O'Flaherty, author of 'The Informer' lived on this road for a short time in the 1920s No.15. Turning right onto this road we walk down the hill towards the railway bridge you will note a Martello Tower on our right No.16. These towers were built by the British as a defence against Napoleon in the early years of the 19th century. This tower, now a private residence was once the property of the rock star 'Bono'. Walking under the railway bridge we pass the 'Harbour Bar' on the left, this interesting old pub has probably been used as a location for more films than any other pub in the country. No.17 A short distance away on our left is Bray Harbour No.18 A small harbour, dry at low tide, is home to a large herd of Mute Swans as well as Duck, Geese, Herons, Cormorants and a variety of rare Gulls. Walking across the road from the Harbour Bar we come to Martello Terrace No.19. No. 1 Martello Terrace was the home of James Joyce who lived here from 1887 to 1891. It was here that the Christmas dinner scene in 'Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man' took place. Martello Terrace was also once the home of the film director Niall Jordan. Walking now in a Southerly direction along the Victorian Promenade No.20. On our right we first come to O'Driscoll's Seaside Bar, currently owned by Jacky O'Driscoll, a grand nephew of James Joyce. Passing the Sealife Aquarium No.21 and the Fun Palace we come to Brennan's Terrace No.22 one-time summer home to the playwright Lennox Robinson. The novelist Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu also lived here while recuperating from a serious illness. Walking on we come to the Esplanade Terrace between Victoria Avenue and Convent Avenue. It was here in 1835 that workmen uncovered what was believed to be a Roman Burial site No.23 Strolling along the Promenade during the summer months we can observe Common, Little and Sandwich Terns fishing along the coast where grey seals have been seen from time to time. Sir William and Lady Jane Wilde built Esplanade Terrace and Elsinore (now the Strand Hotel) as an investment. Oscar Wide inherited the properties in 1876 and sold them in 1878. Oscar had promised one of these properties to two different people and as a result ended up in Bray Court. Sir William Wilde No.24 and Lady Jane Wilde No.25 were believed locally to have rented 'Tower Cottage' No.26 on

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the corner of Strand Road and Putland Road while their other properties were let out. A little further along is where No. 1 Martello Tower stood, on a site at the end of the Promenade railings. Nearby a small stream known as the 'Cockbrook' flows into the sea. Walking on past Esplanade Terrace we come to the Esplanade Hotel No.27 Built on the site of the Old Coastguard Station in 1897. Nearby stood 'Rose Cottage' (demolished in 2004) this was once the home of Jack Cranley. A retired Royal Navy man who was serving with the coastguard when the 1st War broke out, he then rejoined the Navy but he was struck down by cholera while serving in the Indian Ocean and he was buried at sea. Walking on as far as the Coastguard boathouse No.28 we cross the road and proceed up the Putland Hill. The red brick building on our left is the new Coastguard Station. No.29 As we go up the Putland Hill we take the right turn onto the Meath Road, now walking in a northerly direction. On our left hand side we pass some bungalows which were built on the site of the old Aravon School cricket grounds. The first junction we come to is the Convent Avenue, a short distance up on our left is a house called Ravenna, once the home of the novelist Richard Power. No.30 Further along we come to Milward Terrace No.31, an imposing Victorian terrace built in 1864. Joshua Pim, the tennis champion once lived here as did the Labour Leader Roddy Connolly. Across the road from here is a housing estate called Aravon Court No.32, this was the original site of 'Aravon School', amongst its pupils were John Millington Synge the dramatist and Roger Casement, the Patriot. The novelist Monk Gibbon taught here at one time. A little further on is a house called 'Glenard' where Peggy Dell lived, Peggy was a concert artist and member of the 'Tisdell Concert Party' and on the right hand side of the road at No. 27 lived author and playwright, Philip Rooney. No.33 Turning left at the junction of Sidmonton Avenue we walk up the hill past Glenard Avenue and Meath Place until we reach the junction with Sidmonton Square and Kingsmill Road. On our left is No. 1 Sidmonton Square once the home of the painter Paul Henry. No.34 The gardens of Meath Road, Sidmonton Square, Novara Road and Herbert Road are rich in songbirds and woodland birds such as Sparrow, Thrush, Blackbirds, Robin and Wren. Also Foxes, Grey and Red Squirrel are often seen in this area. A variety of Butterflies can be spotted in the summer months with Speckled Wood, Large, Small and Green Vented Whites, Small Tortoiseshell, Hollyblue and Peacock are all in evidence as well as migrants such as the Red Admiral and Painted Lady. Walking on past Sidmonton Square we turn right into Novara Avenue and walk on until we come to the Main Street. Almost directly opposite us on the Main Street is a restaurant called 'Jasmine House', this building was once the home of Cearbhall O'Dalaigh No.35. Crossing over the Main Street we turn right into Parnell Road and walk to the junction of Herbert Road. Here at No. 4 lived the novelist James Plunkett Kelly. No.36 At the junction with Herbert Road we turn right and walk back toward the Main Street, where we come to Herbert Terrace on the left hand side of the road. No. 2 Herbert Terrace is presently home to Dick Roche TD, Minister for the Environment (2005) and was once the home of Sir Herbert Hamilton Harty, conductor of the Halle Orchestra 1920-1930. No.37 No. 1 Herbert Terrace was for a time the home of the actor Cyril Cusack (1910-1993). No.38 Crossing over the Main Street at the lights we walk down the Quinsborough Road, on past the shops on our right hand side and we come to Prince of Wales Terrace. At No. 2 lived William Larminie No.39 folklorist and at No. 11 lived Captain Albert A. Bestic. No.40 Third officer of the 'Lusitania'. Further on at No. 12 Goldsmith Terrace lived Sir Arthur Purves Phayne one time Governor of Mauritius. No.41 We are now back at the Railway Station, and I hope you have enjoyed our stroll around the Historic Streets of Bray.

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50 people and places of interest in Bray


1. St Paul's. Said to have been built in 1609, the present church became a
chapel of ease in 1863 on the consecration of Christ Church. It closed in 1973.

9. Kilsaran Cross. Kilsaran Cross is an early cross pillar (Pillar with Greek
Cross cut into it).

18. The Harbour. Work commenced in 1891, the total area of the harbour is seven acres. There was a lighthouse on the end of the South Pier which was destroyed in 1957 by Hurricane Carrie. 19. Martello Terrace. A terrace of Victorian houses built in 1860, once
the home of James Joyce and the film directory Neil Jordan.

10. Kilcroney Church. The name suggests that it was founded by St


Croine, first mentioned in 1280.

2. Bray Castle. Built in 1173 by Walter de Riddlesford, exact site


unknown, attacked and burned down in 1316, repaired in 1334 and demolished sometime after.

11. Raheen-a-Cluig. The Little Rath of the Bell, dating from 1200AD.
The ruins of this church consist of a doorway in the northeast wall and round headed windows in the east and west gables.

20. The Promenade. Built between 1884 and 1886 by McAlpine at a


cost of 20,000.

3. Bray Military Barracks. Built in 1692 and used in the 1798 Rebellion
this barracks became a dispensary in 1818 and was converted to private dwellings in 1969.

12. The War Memorial. The population of Bray in 1914 was 6,000, over
900 Bray men enlisted to fight in the War to end all wars. 155 of them were killed, their names can be seen inscribed on this cross.

21. Sealife. Built on the site of the old Bray Baths offering regular informative talks and feeding presentations. This centre features an interesting collection of sea creatures.

4. Bray Bridge. First bridge built in 1666, collapsed in a storm in 1741 and
was then rebuilt. The present bridge was built in 1856.

13. The Carlisle Grounds. Home of Bray Wanderers, the Carlisle grounds was laid out by William Dargan in 1862. 14. Yann Renard Goulet RHA. Born in Brittany in 1917, died 1999.
Sculptor and painter.

22. Brennans Terrace. A row of 12 houses built in 1859, one time home
to the playwright Lennox Robinson 1886-1958, author of 'The White Headed Boy' (1918) and the 'Big House' (1926). Also home to Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu 1814-1873 author of 'Uncle Silas' 1864 and the 'House by the Churchyard (1868).

5. Little Bray Castle. Built in 1459 with a grant of 10.00 it was in use
as a Police Barracks in 1836 and then converted to a private residence in 1905. Demolished in 1937.

15. Seapoint Road. At one time this was the only access to the sea. 16. Martello Towers. There were three Martello Towers built in Bray, no. 1 which stood on a site near the end of the Promenade railings was demolished in 1884. No. 2, still in existence is now a private dwelling and stands beside the Harbour, while no. 3 stood on a site north of the Harbour and fell into the sea in the 1880s. 17. The Harbour Bar. Films made in or near the Harbour Bar include: 'Of Human Bondage' starring Laurence Harvey and Kim Novak; 'Country Dance' with Peter O'Toole and Susanna York; 'Breakfast on Pluto' directed by Neil Jordan and the Sally O'Brien Guinness ad.

23. The Roman Burial. In 1835 workmen digging foundations for gate
piers where Esplanade Terrace is today, uncovered several skeletons which were placed side by side and separated by thin stone flags. A number of Roman coins were found buried with the bodies.

6. Old Court Castle. Located off the Vevay Road, built by the Earl of
Ormond in 1433 currently in ruins (private property). An early Christian socket stone stands near by.

7. Fassaroe Castle. Built in 1536 by 'Master Tresover' tradition has it


that it was destroyed by Oliver Cromwell's forces.

24. Sir William Wilde. (Oscar Wilde's father) 1815-1876 was an eye and
ear surgeon and a prolific author.

8. St. Valery's Cross. A small granite cross brought here from elsewhere. It has a pierced ring at the top with a representation of the Crucifixion. Its date is uncertain but it is probably 15th/16th century.

25. Lady Jane Wilde. (Oscar Wilde's mother) The author of 'Ancient Legends, Mystic Charms and Superstitions of Ireland' under the pseudonym 'Spiranza'.

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26. Tower Cottage. Believed to be a summer home of the Wilde's. 27. The Esplande Hotel. Built in 1897. 28. The Coastguard Boathouse. Built in 1870 and transferred from
the Admiralty to B.U.D.C. in 1904.

34. Paul Henry. (1876-1958) Born in Belfast, he was a founder of the Dublin Society of Painters in 1920. 35. Cearbhall O'Dalaigh. (1911-1978) Was Attorney General on two occasions 1946-48 and 1951-53. He was Chief Justice in 1961 and President from 1974 to 1976. 36. James Plunkett Kelly. Was the author of 'Strumpet City' and
'Farewell Companions'.

44. Bray Court House. Built in 1841. It closed as a courthouse in 1984


and now houses the Tourist Information Office and Heritage Centre.

45. The Royal Hotel. Opened in 1776 as the Meath Arms. 46. Bray (Daly) Railway Station. Opened in 1854, no. 2 Platform was
built in 1927.

29. New Coastguard Station. Built in 1876, occupied by the Free


State Army in 1922 and converted to a private dwelling in 1925.

47. Kilruddery House. Acquired by Sir William Brabazon in 1618 and has
been home of the Earls of Meath ever since. (Open to the public).

30. Richard Power. 1928-1970 lived in a house in Convent Avenue


called Ravenna. He was the author of 'The Hungry Grass' and 'The Land of Youth'.

37. Sir Herbert Hamilton Harty. At one time the organist at Christ
Church, Bray. He was a musician, conductor and composer. His works include 'Comedy Overture' in 1907 and 'Irish Symphony' in 1910.

48. Sunnybank. Originally known as 'Bloody Bank'. It was the site of a


battle between the citizens of Dublin, led by the Lord Mayor against the O'Byrne and O'Toole clans.

31. Milward Terrace. Was the home of Joshua Pim, a Dublin doctor and Irish and Wimbledon Tennis Champion in 1893 and 94. Roddy Connolly (1901-1980) son of 1916 leader James Connolly also lived in this terrace. He was an organiser of the Communist Party of Ireland, the editor of The Workers Republic and a member of Dil ireann for County Louth (1943-45). He later became chairman of the Irish Labour Party. 32. Aravon School. Opened 1862 as Bray School and moved to this
location in 1866 when it was then renamed Aravon School. Moved again in 1984 to Ferndale Road in Rathmichael. Among its pupils were the dramatist John Millington Synge (1871-1909) author of 'Riders to the Sea' and 'Playboy of the Western World' which is widely regarded as the most important play of the Irish literary revival. Also Sir Roger Casement (18641916) patriot and humanitarian, who was executed for treason in August 1916. The author Monk Gibbon taught here for a while.

38. Cyril Cusack. Starred in many films including 'Odd Man Out', 'Shake Hands with the Devil', 'Fahrenheit 451' and 'My Left Foot'. 39. William Larminie. 1849-1900 Poet and folklorist was the author of
'West Irish Folk Tales and Romances'.

49. The Petrified Forest. Submerged on Bray's North Beach lies the
remains of a forest over 6,000 years old, it can only be seen at very low tides.

50. St. Patrick's National School. Located on Convent Hill. This 40. Captain Albert Bestic. Was Third Officer on the 'Lusitania' and
the author of 'Kicking Canvas'. premises started life in 1892 as The Royal Drummond Institute for Girls. In 1917 it became a home for blind soldiers and in 1918 it was The Duke of Connaught's Hospital for fitting artificial limbs. It then became an orphanage for the daughters of dead soldiers. It was bought by the Loreto order in 1944 and became a national school.

41. Sir Arthur Purves Phayne (18121885) Commissioner of Arkan in 1837,


Commissioner of Lower Burma in 1852 and Governor of Mauritius in 1874.

42. Bray Town Hall. Built in 1881/82 in the English Revival style. The architects were Thomas Deane & Sons and the builders were Wardop & Sons. 43. The Cross on Bray Head. Built in 1950 to commemorate the Holy
Year.

33. Philip Rooney. Author of 'Captain Boycott' a novel which was made into a film starring Stewart Granger and Cecil Parker.

Text by Henry Cairns and Owen Gallagher. with thanks to Bray Town Council, Wicklow Heritage Forum, Chamber of Commerce and Wicklow Tourism.

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H.M.S. Vanguard - A 6,000 ton battleship which sank as a result of an accidental ramming 8 miles due East of Bray Head in 1875.

The Railway line from Bray to Greystones was designed by the famous railway engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

In 1930, Prof. James Drumm designed and built a Battery Railcar powered by his Drumm Battery. Four trains were built and they operated from Dublin to Bray from 1932 up until 1951.

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