Video of Bray, County Wicklow, Republic of Ireland
Bray straddles the Dublin-Wicklow border, with a portion of the northern suburbs
situated in County Dublin. Bray is home to Ireland's only dedicated film studios,
Ardmore Studios where films such as Excalibur, Braveheart, and Breakfast on Pluto
have been shot.
n medieval times, Bray was on the border of the coastal district, governed directly
by the English crown from Dublin Castle, known as the Pale. Inland, the countryside
was under the control of Gaelic Chieftains, such as the O'Toole and O'Byrne clans.
Bray features on the 1598 map "A Modern Depiction of Ireland, One of the British
Isles" by Abraham Ortelius as "Brey". (It is worth noting the "O Byrne" name appearing
prominently on the map). In August or September 1649 Oliver Cromwell is believed
to have stayed in Bray on his way to Wexford from Dublin. During
the 17th and 18th centuries, Bray was still a small fishing village, but during the
latter part of the 18th century, the Dublin middle classes began to move to Bray
to escape city life, while still being relatively close to the city. The Dublin and
Kingstown Railway, the first in Ireland, opened in 1834 and was extended as far as
Bray in 1854. With the railway, the town grew to become the largest Irish seaside
resort. The outbreak of World War II put the industry 'on hold' for its duration.
However, during the 1950s tourists from England, Scotland and Northern Ireland returned
to Bray in great numbers to escape the austerity of post-war rationing. The town's
career as a resort declined fromt the 1960s onwards when foreign travel became an
option for large numbers of people. However, the town is still popular with visitors
who come to enjoy the seafront with its bars and restaurants,the mile long beach
and the scenic walks on Bray head.
During the mid-nineteenth century (five years after the building of the railway)
Turkish baths were also built in Bray, these were built in an extravagant Moorish
style at a cost of £10,000 and met an end after a turbulent century of business when
the demolition squad arrived in 1980.
Bray (Irish: Bré, formerly Brí Chualann) is a town in north County Wicklow, Ireland.
It is a busy urban centre and seaside resort, with a population of 31,901 making
it the fourth largest in Ireland (excluding the five cities) as of the 2006 census.
It is situated about 20 km (12 mi) south of Dublin on the east coast.
The town is the location of some industry, is home for many who commute to Dublin
by car or rail, is a shopping town for the surrounding area and still attracts tourists
particularly from Dublin at weekends.