Bray (Irish: Bré , which means “hill”, former BRI Chualann ) is a town in northern County Wicklow, Ireland. It is a busy city and seaside resort, with a population of 31,872, making it the ninth largest urban area in Ireland on Census 2011. [1] It is located about 20 km (12 mi) south of Dublin on the east coast. The town straddles the border Dublin Wicklow, with a part of the northern suburbs in Dublin.

Bray scenic location and proximity to Dublin makes it a popular destination for tourists and day-trippers from the capital. Bray is home to Ardmore Studios, hosting Irish and international productions for film, TV and advertising. Some light industry, located in the city, with shops and retail parks concentrated largely on its southern periphery. Bray center has a variety of shops serving the needs of consumers of the surroundings.Commuters links between Bray and Dublin provided by the railway, Dublin Bus and the M11 and M50 motorways.


The name of the city means hill or rising ground , possibly referring to the gradual incline of the city from Dargle Bridge Vevay Hill.


In medieval times, Bray was on the southern border of Palestine, the coastal district is directly controlled by the English crown from Dublin Castle.Inland, the countryside was under the control of Gaelic Chieftains, as O’Toole and O’Byrne clans. Bray is the 1598 map “A Modern Display of Ireland, one of the British Isles” [2] by Abraham Ortelius ‘Brey’. (It is worth noting that the “O Byrne” name prominently displayed on the map.) The Earl of Meath bought Kilruddery property in Bray in 1627 with the establishment of the Earl title, is the heir of the current holder only son, Anthony Jacques Brabazon, Lord Ardee ( born 1977). [ citation needed ] in August or September 1649 Oliver Cromwell is believed to have stayed in Bray on the road to Wexford from Dublin. [ citation needed ] during the 17th and 18th centuries, remained Bray a typical small manor village, but in the latter part of 18’s began the Dublin middle class to move to Bray which although still relatively close to the city, offering stunning mountain scenery and beaches in the immediate vicinity.

The Dublin and Kingstown Railway, the first in Ireland, opened in 1834, was as far as Bray was extended in 1854. Upon arrival of the railroad, the town grew to become Ireland’s largest seaside resort. Hotels and extensive residential terraces were built near the sea. Railway contractor, William Dargan developed the Turkish bath, styled in an extravagant Moorish style at a cost of £ 10,000; they met an end after a turbulent century of business when the demolition squad arrived in 1980. [3] The town continued to flourish after independence, but the outbreak of World War II put the industry on ice “for its duration. But in the 1950s, tourists from Britain returned to Bray in large numbers to escape the austerity of Britain’s post-war rationing. The city’s career as a resort declined from the 1960s onwards when foreign travel was an option for vacationers. [ Citation needed ] However, the time travelers continued to flock to Bray, especially during the summer months. Summer Festival, with carnival attractions, fireworks and an air show attracts thousands of visitors in July and August.

Thousands of people turned out to sea to see Olympic boxing champion Katie Taylor, the city’s most famous athletes, returning home from London in August 2012. [4]


The Dargle River which enters the sea at the northern end of Bray rising from a source close Djouce, in the Wicklow Mountains. Bray Head is located at the southern end of the famous Victorian promenade with trails leading to the top and along the sea cliffs. The stones in the Bray Head is a mixture of greywacke and quartzite .The large concrete cross at the summit provides a significant milestone on the east coast and is a major attraction for locals and visitors.

The city lies on the coast, Shankill, County Dublin is north, and Grey, Wicklow in the south. The picturesque village of Ennis is located west of the city, at the foot of the Wicklow Mountains.


Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1991 26953
1996 27923 + 3.6%
2002 30951 + 10.8%
2006 31901 + 3.1%
2011 31872 -0.1%

local authorities

Bray’s 8 County Councillors are: Bray was ruled by a council until 2014. Part of the northern bray area is within the municipal area of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, despite its seamless integration with the rest of the city. The border between Wicklowoch Dublin is located along Old Conna / Corke Abbey, making all areas north of the point Bray, County Dublin. The town is part of the Bray local electoral area for the elections to Wicklow County Council who choose eight councilors who also sits on the Bray city council.

  • Brendan Thornhill (Ind, Cathaoirleach Bray municipality)
  • Steven Matthews (GP, Leas-Cathaoirleach Bray municipality)
  • Joe Behan (Ind)
  • John Brady (SF)
  • Christopher Fox (Ind)
  • Oliver O’Brien (SF)
  • John Ryan (FG)
  • Pat Vance (FF)


A major public transport, both north to south Dublin and Wicklow and Wexford, earning the city. Bray is on the DART network that extends north to Malahide and Howth and south to cater. The city is also on the mainline Iarnród Éireann railway linking the north to Connolly Station in Dublin city center and on to Drogheda and Dundalk. In the south, the railway runs through the Arklow and Gorey before Rosslare Europort. Bray train station is named after Edward Daly, an executed leader of the 1916 Easter Rising. Bray Station opened 10 July 1854. [5] The station’s eastern platform has a mural that illustrates aspects of local and national history for each decade from the 1850s to the 2000s, which replaced the mosaic.

Five bus companies passing Bray: Dublin Bus, Bus Éireann, Finnegan Bray, Aircoach, St. Kevin’s bus to Glendalough. Dublin Bus is by far the largest operator with frequent services to and from Dublin city center and many services in North Wicklow and South Dublin area. Dublin Bus also provides services to Dun Laoghaire, Ennis, Greystones, Kilmacanogue, Kilcoole and Newtownmountkennedy. Finnegan Bray also offers a night link service from Dublin. [6] Aircoach driving an hour to and from Dublin Airport.

There are plans to extend the Luas tram to Fassaroe, an area in the northwest part of the city. However, the exact relationship between the center and the Luas station has not yet decided. Until 1958, the old Harcourt Street railway line ran from Harcourt Street in Dublin to Bray, along much of the road for the new Luas. From 2014, there is much doubt about the Luas will be extended to Bray.

Bray is located along the M11 motorway corridor; an exchange on its northern side links to the M50 Dublin bypass.


Bray is a long established resort with many hotels and guest houses, shops, restaurants and evening entertainment. The city also plays host to a number of high profile festival events.

Available in the city’s vicinity there are two 18-hole golf courses, a tennis club, fishing, a sailing club and horse riding. Other features of Bray’s gambling halls and the National Sealife Centre. Bray is known as theGateway to Wicklow and is the oldest seaside resort in the country. It has a beach of sand and shingle which is over 1.6 km (0.99 mi) long, fronted by a large esplanade. Bray Head, which rises steeply (241 m (791 ft)) from the coast, dominating the scene, providing panoramic views of the mountains and the sea. The concrete cross on top of the head was erected in 1950 for the Holy Year.

Bray is a popular base for hikers, walkers and strollers. It is remarkable for its mile-long promenade that stretches from the harbor, with its colony of humpback, to the base of Bray Head at the southern end – from a well worn trail leads to the top. Also very popular with hikers is 7 kilometers (4.3 mi) along the Cliff Walk Bray Head out to Greystones.

In January 2010, Bray got the name “cleanest city in Ireland” in the 2009 Irish Business against Litter (IBAL) survey of 60 cities. [7]


The annual Bray Summer is an established tourist event, which takes place during six weeks in July and August. The Summer has over 100 free entertainment events, including live music, markets, sports entertainment, carnivals, and family fun. The models headed includes Mundy, Brian Kennedy, undertones, Hothouse Flowers, and Mary Black. In 2006, over 60,000 visitors attended the main festival weekend in mid-July. [ Citation needed ]

Bray also hosts a large carnival and festival events to celebrate the annual Saint Patrick’s Day holiday. Bray Patrick Carnival & Parade presented by Bray & District Chamber and is a five-day festival of carnival fun, parades, and live entertainment.

Bray Jazz Festival takes place annually on the May bank holiday weekend.The festival includes performances by jazz and world music artists from Ireland and abroad.

It also hosts an annual silent film festival, The Killruddery Film Festival Killruddery Gardens, this goes 13 to 15 April 2012. It shows movies like La Roue and Camille. [8]

Pubs and restaurants

Bray is home to many pubs and restaurants, including the first Porter bar, which specializes in brewing its own ales, stouts and beers. [9] In 2010, ranked the Lonely Planet Guide Harbour Bar in Bray Best Bar in the World and Best Off the Beaten Track bar in the world. [10] the O’Toole family owned the bar for three generations, but it was bought by the Duggan family in 2013. [11] the Duggan also operates two ocean premises, Katie Gallagher and Martello, both include restaurants on site. Bray seafront bars characterized by extensive outdoor terraces, catering for large crowds during the summer.Most have bar food. There are eight two p.m. licensed premises in Bray, including six hotels.

There are twelve full-service restaurants offering a variety of cuisine, including Chinese, Indian, Nepalese and European. There are several unlicensed restaurants / cafes providing breakfast, lunch or snack during the day. A McDonald’s fast food outlet occupies the ground floor of the old Town Hall on Main Street. In 2015, The Irish Times published a study that analyzed the prevalence of fast food restaurants in Irland.Bray was found to have the lowest concentration of the 10 cities included per capita, with only 0.09 stores per 1000 people. [12]


Bray is home to Ireland’s oldest film studios, Ardmore Studios, established in 1958, where movies like Excalibur , Braveheart and Breakfast on Pluto has been shot.

Bray Head Inn, the obvious choice for Victorian circa 1860, has been used for a variety of films over the last 25 years. [ Citation needed ]

Custer’s Last Stand-up was filmed in Bray [13] and the city was also used for filming Neil Jordan’s film Byzantium , part of which was shot in the Bray Head Inn. [14]


Bray is home to the League of Ireland semi-professional football club Bray Wanderers play at Carlisle Grounds.

It is also home to a number of other sports clubs, including school football club Saint Joseph Boys AFC, cycling club Bray Wheelers CC, badminton, tennis, archery, bowling and yacht clubs. [15]


Elementary Schools:

  • St. Kieran NS Travelling Children
  • St. Fergal Junior and Senior School
  • Peters NS
  • St. Philomena’s NS [16]
  • St. Cronan’s Boys National School [17]
  • St Andrews NS [16]
  • Gaelscoil Uí Cheadaigh [16]
  • Scoil Chualann [16]
  • Bray School Project NS [16]
  • Patrick NS [16]

Newcourt Special School

Gerard St. NS

High schools:

  • St. Kilian CS [18]
  • Coláiste Ráithín [19]
  • St. Thomas’ CS [20]
  • St. Brendan college [21]
  • Presentation College Bray [22]
  • Loreto Secondary School [23]
  • St. Gerard School [24]

Further education:

  • Bray Institute of Further Education [25]

Elian’s Dublin, a Spanish international school, was located in Bray. [26] [27]

Notable people

See also: Category: People from Bray

The following are former or current residents of the city:

  • Mary Coughlan currently resides in the city
  • Fergal Devitt, professional wrestler in the WWE, where he was wrestling under the name Finn Balor, was born and educated in the city
  • Hozier, is a singer / songwriter from Bray
  • Eddie Jordan, former racing driver and Jordan Grand Prix founder
  • Ed Joyce, professional actor
  • James Joyce, author
  • Maria Doyle Kennedy, an Irish singer and actress who lived in the city as a child. [28]
  • Denzil Lacey, former RTÉ 2Fm presenter, currently working with Spin South West grew up and lived in the city
  • Dara Ó Briain, was comedian and British television host was born in the city
  • Sinéad O’Connor, currently live singers in the city
  • Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh, fifth President of Ireland was born in the city
  • Fionn Regan, Irish musician
  • Katie Taylor, the world and European Olympic boxing
  • Laura Whitmore, former MTV television presenter and Strictly Come Dancing contestant in 2016, was born in the city

International relations

See also: List of twin town in Ireland

Bray has twinning agreements with:

  • Begles, France
  • Wurzburg, Germany
  • Dublin, CA


  • Bray Harbour, October 2014
  • Bray Daly Station
  • St. Patrick’s Day 2008
  • Bray Head Summit
  • Presentation College Bray
  • Bray Bray Head
  • Saint Cronan’s National School boys
  • The Methodist Church, Eglinton Rd.
  • Strand Hotel
  • old Town Hall
  • Kilruddery House and Gardens
  • Bray Air Show 2016

See also

  • List of towns and villages in Ireland
  • History of rail transport in Ireland
  • Christchurch, Bray
  • Bray Jazz Festival


  1. ^ Jump up to: ab “Legal Bray Town results”. Central Bureau of Statistics .2011. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
  2. Jump up ^ “A Modern Display of Ireland, one of the British Isles”.Retrieved 4 August, 2016.
  3. Jump up ^ “Bray Turkish bath”.
  4. Jump up ^ “Bray Triumphant homecoming of Olympic hero Katie Taylor.” Irish Independent. Independent News & Media. August 13, 2012.Retrieved 13 August 2012.
  5. Jump up ^ “Bray Station” (PDF). Railscot – Irish Railways. Retrieved 8 September of 2007.
  6. Jump up ^ “Night bus to Bray / Greystones / Kilcoole”.
  7. Jump up ^ “Bray named as the cleanest city”. Irish Times. 4 January 2010. Retrieved 4 January 2010.
  8. Jump up ^ “Lillruddery Film Festival”.
  9. Jump up ^ “The Porter brewery”.
  10. Jump up ^ “Largest little pub in the world”. Irish Independent. 25 November 2010. Retrieved 25 November 2010.
  11. Jump up ^ “Harbour Bar ‘.
  12. Jump up^
  13. Jump up ^ Brendan Grehan (6 December 2001). “Bray-based television series win top Bafta award”. Bray people. Retrieved January eight in 2012.
  14. Jump up ^ “Neil Jordan movie will stop traffic.” Bray People.
  15. Jump up ^
  16. ^ Jump up to: abcdef “Bray Elementary Schools”
  17. Jump up ^ “St. Cronan’s Boys National School ‘.
  18. Jump up ^ “St. Kilian’s Community School (91376L) – are fighting. “
  19. Jump up ^ “Coláiste Ráithín”.
  20. Jump up ^ “St Thomas Community College Bray”.
  21. Jump up ^ “St. Brendan’s College – Bray, Co. Wicklow: Saint Brendan. “
  22. Jump up ^ “Pres Bray”. Pres Bray. 5 September 1921.
  23. Jump up ^ “Loreto Bray Secondary School”.
  24. Jump up ^ “St Gerards School Bray”.
  25. Jump up ^
  26. Jump up ^ “Home” (File), IALE Elian’s. On May 4, 2007. Retrieved September 30, 2015. Click on the link to get content related to Elian’s Dublin. The location information is in Elian’s Dublin> “Situación”
  27. Jump up ^ “Registro Estatal de Centros Docentes no universitarios (RCD).” The Ministry of Education (Spain). Retrieved September 30, 2015. “Bannon ROAD OLD COLLAUGHT AVENUE” Select “Centros en el Exterior” and search for the center code “60000992” and / or “Elian’s Dublin”
  28. Jump up ^ “Maria Doyle Kennedy Biography”. Pulled 11/21/2015.