Bray’s Timeline

Bray Timeline
Day & Month Year Event
1804 Three Martello Towers were built along the coast at Bray.
8th May 1842 St Peter’s Catholic Graveyard (old graveyard, Little Bray) was blessed by The Right Rev. Dr. Walsh, Bishop of Nova Scotia.
June 1843 There was a narrow escape for a brave aeronaut when his gas balloon fell from the sky over the sea at Bray.
15-Mar 1851 Death of John Chambre Brabazon, 10th Earl of Meath.
Nov 1851 The new Earl and Countess of Meath(William Brabazon, 11th Earl of Meath 1803 – 26 May 1887) arrived at Kilruddery, there were great celebrations in the town including fireworks and bonfires on Bray Head and the Sugarloaf.
25th August 1847 The first sod of the Waterford, Wexford, Wicklow and Dublin Railway,  was turned by the Earl of Courtown, Chairman of the Company. The ceremony took place at Bray Head.
July 1854 The coming of the Railway to Bray (Constructed by William Dargan b1799, d 1867)
24th July 1855 The ceremony of laying the first stone of the new Bridge of Bray (now Fran O’Toole bridge) was performed by Sir George Hodson, Bart.  Mr David Edge was the contractor & Mr Ellis the overseer of the work.
Nov 1857 The Earl of Meath was elected Chairman of the Commissioners of Bray Township.
4th October 1858 The foundation stone for Bray Gasworks is laid by The Countess of Meath
1859 The Turkish Baths were opened at Quinsboro Road
31th May 1862 The International Hotel opened in Bray with an Inaugural Banquet.
25th July 1863 Christ Church, Bray  was consecrated by the Protestant Bishop of Killaloe. When the church opened in 1863, the spire was not yet built. Work began on the spire in 1865 but was not completion until 1870.
1864 The French School, Bray was founded by Madame de Mailly
1867 The Turkish Baths were converted to become the Assembly Rooms(to be used for concerts, exhibitions, reading rooms, lecture hall etc)
Sept 1872 A railway locomotive boiler exploded at Bray Station platform killing two railway workers.
August 1879  Lord Brabazon (son of the 11th Earl of Meath) offers to build a Market House/Town Hall at his own expense.
1881 Bray Town Hall/Market House. Work starts to construct this building, it opened in December 1884.
5th Sept 1885 Bray’s New Sea Wall was formally opened and was to be known as “The Grand Marine Promenade”.
1885 Bray Emmets GAA Club was founded.
20th August 1887 St. Andrew’s N.S. The foundation stone for the new Presbyterian school was laid by the Earl of Meath, the scool was located at the end of the Eglinton Road and was opened in January 1888.
13th June 1891 New Harbour, Martin Langton, Chairman of Bray Commissioners presided at the inaugural ceremony of making the first concrete block used in its construction of a new Harbour in Bray.
19th May 1893 The first Steamer arrives in Bray’s new Harbour, the “Flagstaff” was from Liverpool and was laden with coal.
1894 The County Wicklow Lawn Tennis Club was established in Bray.
1897 A stone obelisk was erected on the highest point on Bray Head to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria, it was erected by Major Morris, .J.P.  Windgates. It stood about 15 Feet high.
1897  A Lighthouse located on Bray’s Southern harbour wall is completed
1898 The Local Government (Ireland) Act 1898.   Bray Town Commissioners are replaced by a democratically elected Town Council
Feb 1900 A train failed to stop at the buffers at Harcourt Street station, it crashed through the wall and ended up perched among the rubble above Hatch Street.  The driver was William Hyland from Bray, he was badly injured and had his arm removed as a result of the accident.
1901 The Sisters of Charity establish Ravenswell School, Little Bray
1902 British Empire Day insituted by Reginald Brabazon 12th Earl of Meath, to encourage schoolchildren to become good citizens
1903 Numbers 13 & 14 Main Street Bray are cleared to open up the Florence Road to the Main Street.  The date 1903 is clearly marked on the wall of Bannon jewellers at this junction.
1904 Work began on St Pauls National School, Herbert Road Bray
July 1904 Bray Emmets(GAA club) win the All Ireland Senior Football Championship for 1902. They represented Dublin and had won all qualifying heaths in the interim years. Score: Dublin 6 points, Tipperary 5 points.
June 1905 Official handing over of Dargan Street and Kilmantain Place to Bray Council by the contractor Mr Samuel Worthington. Mr Edward Lee & Joseph Reigh J.P. were handed the gold keys for the ceremony.
August 1905 The river Dargle breaks its banks and floods Little Bray, one man is killed and hundreds are left homeless.
May 1906 The Archbishop of Dublin blessed the new graveyard at St Peter’s Church, Little Bray.
1911 Bray Public Library was built on Florence Road.
May 1912 A Catholic Boys Brigade is set up in Bray in association with the Ancient Order of Hibernians (A.O.H),  about 170 boys assembled for the initial meeting.
July 1912 An explosion at the Municipal Electric Works in Bray, Christopher Coates(head fitter) is killed. His funeral was one of the biggest funerals witnessed in the town with all places of business closed as a mark of respect.
March 1914 A Bray Branch of Irish Volunteers was formed at a meeting held in Bray Town Hall. A small number of  young men joined, the numbers later swelled with support from the local A.O.H. branch
May 1914 The passing of the third Home Rule Bill was celebrated with a large parade through the streets of Bray, it started at the Town Hall and was lead by the St Kevin’s Brass & Reed Band
July 1914 A large crowd watched from Bray’s Harbour wall and enjoyed splendid aviation feats performed by Lord Carbery in his small plane, he performed a looping the loop maneuver among others..
October 1914 A group of Belgian refugees arrive in Bray. They were met at Bray station and escorted in procession to their accommodation at 1&2 Victoria Villas, Meath Road.  Fr T O’Reilly and the Bray Hibernian Boys Brigade & Band led the procession.
22nd Aug 1916 The Marine Station Hotel was seriously damaged by  an accidental fire. The Dublin Fire Brigade arrived around 4pm and pumped sea water to extinguish the flames. The hotel stood on the location of the now Platform Pizza.
1st April 1917 The Bray Trades Council was founded in Bray Town Hall.
April 1918 Rev Fr Richard Colahan P.P. Bray administered the anti-conscription pledge to around 3 thousand people at a demonstration held outside Bray Town Hall.
04-Nov 1918 Death of the Countess of Meath (formerly Mary Jane Maitland) at Kilmacanogue, Co Wicklow.
Jan 1920 Joseph Lynch, Sinn Fein was unanimously elected Chairman of Bray Urban Council, he was later interned in Mountjoy Prison in Oct 1920 under The Restoration of Order in Ireland Act 1920.
01-Sep 1920 The first Republican Court for East Wicklow was held at Bray Town Hall, and was public.
March 1920 It was decided to change the name of Aberdeen Square to James Connolly Square, Bray.
14th May 1921 Curfew death. A young man named Laurence Brien is shot dead by the Crown Forces near Bray Town Hall.
1921 Presentation College, Bray was established by the Presentation Brothers at Bray Head House, Putland Road.
1st July 1922 Bray Courthouse & Barracks were set on fire as the Irregulars evacuated this position which they had held.
March 1922 Death of the beloved Rev Fr Richard Colahan, PP of the Holy Redeemer Parish Bray, Fr Colahan died in England but lived at St Cronan’s, Main Street, Bray.
Sept 1922 Pearse Square.  Bray Urban Council gave notice to tender to build 21 houses on the Dargle Road(Mickey Gavin’s potato field). The housed were occupied with tenants in Sept the following year.
1923 Bray changed its name to the Irish form Bri Chualann, but the local urban council decided three years later to revert to Bray.
1925 Mr James M Moore a school master in Bray for forty years retired (Principal of St Paul’s national School, Herbert Road) .
June 1925 Annie Louisa Henry was the first woman to be elected to Bray (Bri) Urban Council, she had ben very active in child and women’s health and Welfare schemes in Bray for many years previously.
April 1927 O’Byrne Road, Vevay. Bray Town Council accepted the tender by Messrs McLaughlin & Harvey to build 81 houses at the cost of £420 per house.
May 1928 Bray Town Council is abolished, a Commissioner is appointed to run the Town’s affairs from 1928 to 1934
11-Oct 1929 Death of Reginald Brabazon, 12th Earl of Meath at Eaton-square,  London
Dec 1931 38 new houses at Fairgreen and Sunnybank were officially opened by Mrs Mulcahy accompanied by her husband Richard (Free State Minister for Local Government), they were the first instalment of the comprehensive slum clearance scheme undertaken by Bray Town’s Commissioner P J Meghen.
25-Dec 1931 New swimming baths were formally opened at Martello Terrace Bray, the swimming pool was 29 x 17 yds in size using water pumped from the sea.
July 1933 The Tender of £ 8,688 was accepted by the Bray Town Commissioner for the erection of 26 new houses at Kilmantain Place
18th Sept 1933 The Technical School was opened on Florence Road, Bray by Mr T Derrig, Minister of Education.
November 1933 The stone Obelisk that was located on Bray Head was blown up, an ordnance survey triangulation marker now stands on this location.
19th May 1934 The “Round-the-Houses” motor race took place in Bray. The race was organised by Irish Motor Racing Club, LTD and the Bray Town Commissioner and committee.
April 1935 Esplanade Kiosks – Bray Urban Council accepted the tender of Mr M Carroll, Bray for the erection of six Kiosks at the cost of £228.  The kiosks were designed on the half door Irish cottage, Phase 2 was started in 1938 but not completed until after the war.
19th Dec 1935 The Solus Teoranta light bulb factory was officially declared open at Corke Abbey, Bray by Sean Lemass, Minister for Industry & Commerce.  Mr David Frame was the Chairman f the company.
22nd Jan 1936 Official opening of Wolfe Tone Square by Seán T O’Kelly, Minister for Local Government. This was one of the biggest housing development projects in the country at the time.
Feb 1936 It was recommended that the 12 additional houses built at the end of O’Byrne Road should be called O’Byrne Villas.
4th Jan 1937 “The Hunger March”.   A group of about 70 unemployed men representing some 350 unemployed men in Bray, marched from Bray to Rathdrum. The march was organised by the Bray Unemployed Workers Group and the men carried banners including one with the words ‘The Bray Hunger Marchers’ written on it.
1938 The landmark Old Castle of Little Bray, Castle Street was demolished.
15th Dec 1946 The new Queen of Peace church was blessed by the Most Rev Dr John Charles McQuaid, Archbishop of Dublin. The church was located at the top of the Putland Hill and cost £18000 to build.
01-Jan 1947 Bray Urban Council put out to tender the building of 78 dwellings for the town (later to become Dwyer Park, Fr Colahan Terrace,  St Peter’s Road, Fatima Terrace )
Jan 1947 At a Bray Urban Council meeting it was decided to name the new roads connecting the Main Street to Herbert Road, Davitt Road and Parnell Road.
4th March 1947 A Norwegian motor vessel ran aground on the Kish sand bank, Dublin bay. The ship later broke apart and some of its valuable cargo including rolls of leather were washed up on the coast at Bray.
March 1949  Bray Urban Council meeting, it was decided to name the new housing development in Little Bray, Dwyer park after Michael Dwyer, famous Wicklow insurgent.
July 1949 At a Bray Urban Council meeting it was decided to change the name of the new council houses at Hudson’s Terrace to Fatima Terrace, Rosary Terrace was another suggested name.
Sept 1950 A 30 foot high concrete cross was erected on Bray Head to mark Holy Year. Over 5000 people attended the Blessing ceremony carried out by Rev Canon Moriarty P.P.
April 1952 A new Aerial  Chairlift was opened on Bray Head by Mr Eamonn Quinn (Irish Holidays, LTD).  It carried passengers from the Bray Head car park to the Eagle’s Nest.
October 1952 The name Cuala Road was given by Bray Urban Council to the new road linking the Putland Road to the Newcourt Road.
1952 Bray Musical Society was founded.
Nov 1954 The Palermo Housing estate at Old Connaught Bray was officially opened by Mr O’Donnell, Minister for Local Government.
October 1954 Bray Urban Council decided to name the new roads in the Old Connaughy housing scheme after types of trees, Maple Grove, Arbutus Grove, Beech Road, Hawthorn Road, Myrtle Grove.
5th Dec 1954 The Marian year Grotto was Blessed by Canon Fitzpatrick at Wolfe Tone Square. The new grotto was funded mainly by residents of Wolfe Tone & O’Byrne Road as well as business people of the town.
10th Aug 1956 The new Municipal Flag of Bray U.D.C. was raised to the top of the flag mast of Bray Town Hall. The flag was tricolour of red, blue & yellow, superimposed on the flag were the family crests representing the O’Byrne, O’Toole and Brabazon families.
Sept 1956 St Brendan’s Christian Brothers Secondary school was officially opened at Old Connaught Avenue, Bray.
Nov 1957 The First Chain of Office with medallion bearing the Town’s coat of arms was presented to Dr B Donnelly (Chairman of the council), this marked 100 years of local administration in the town.
1957 The lighthouse that stood on the Bray Harbour wall fell into the sea during a storm.
1958 Bray Sailing Club was founded and Ardmore Film Studios was officially opened on the 12th May by Mr Sean Lemass, Minister for Industry & Commerce.
Dec 1958 The last train from Harcourt Street Railway station to Bray and the closure of the line.
1960 The French School at Sidmonton Place Bray closed
23rd Oct 1962 The Arcadia Ballroom, Bray was destroyed by fire, it was located opposite Bray Railway station.
Dec 1963 A group of residents of the new houses on Boghall Road,  send a letter to Bray Urban Council requesting that a section of the houses be renamed Kennedy Park in honour to  the late American president.
1965  St. Cronan’s House Main Street Bray (former home of the Parish Priest of Holy Redeemer Parish) used a Vocational School
July 1966 The first Mobile Home Park in Ireland was opened at Ardbrae, Vevay Rd, Oldcourt.  It was aimed at providing an alternative way of living in an ideal location on a low budget. David Sayers Chairman of BUDC presided at the opening ceremony.
1972 New school was added to Presentation College, Putland Road, Bray
1973 Brook House School established on the Herbert Road, Bray
23-Oct 1973 An auction of furniture and items from St Paul’s School, Herbert Road was held due to Demolition of this building,   Bray’s first public car park opened on this site in 1974.
14th June 1974 The International Hotel was destroyed by Fire
1977 Scoil Chualann, Bray was founded in 1977.  It was located in temporary premises for many years until its current home was constructed.
1978 Aravon School Playing field between Sidmonton Road and Meath Road, Bray was sold for housing
1978 St Fergal’s Football Club was formed.
1978 The large diving board fell into the sea at Naylor’s Cove.
Dec 1980 The new St Fergal’s Church, Ballywaltrim was blessed by the Most Reverend Dermot J. Ryan, Archbishop of Dublin.
March 1981 The official opening ceremony of St Thomas’s Community College, Bray took place.
1986 Hurricane Charlie strikes and Little Bray is heavily flooded once again, many homes are left destroyed by the muddy water.
1991 Official opening of the Sea-Life Centre,  Bray by President Mary McAleese,
1998 The Tour de France comes to Bray
2014 Bray Town Council is abolished.