Bray’s Timeline

Day & Month Year Event
1804 Three Mortello 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.
30th March 1845 The Very Rev. Theobald Matthews (temperance reformer) preached a charity sermon at St Peter’s Church, Little Bray. After the sermon Father Matthew administered the Total Abstinence Pledge to the huge group that had packed the church. It was estimated that during the day not less than 8000 people had taken the pledge.
22nd July 1845 The Liberator, Daniel O’Connell visited Bray while on a journey from Dublin to Wexford. A huge crowd gathered in the streets to welcome their guest. He was received by the local clergy and joined them for a public breakfast in Quin’s Hotel. He left Bray at 9.45am.
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.
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)
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 the covered market house /Town Hall, 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(the 60th anniversary of her inheritance of the throne), 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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
 1st Aug  1924 The Empire Scout Jamboree was held at Wembley, England. Approximately 350 Irish Free State Scouts & Rovers from Dublin & Wicklow attended the event, joining over 12,000 Scouts from 25 parts of the Commonwealth and Empire. On the 30th July, the Bray division paraded through the town before taking the train to meet the mail boat at Dun Laoghaire. The Free State Scouts and Rovers performed Irish dancing & hurling games at the event. Under the direction of the Earl of Meath, some travelled to Whitehall to lay two wreaths at The Cenotaph (war memorial).
April 1927 O’Byrne Road, Vevay. Bray 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
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.
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.
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.

Recollections of the Goods Yard Bray Railway Station, by Paddy Murphy

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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
23-Oct 1962 The Arcadia Ballroom, Bray was destroyed by fire, it was located opposite Bray Railway station.
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.
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.
Dec 1980 The new St Fergal’s Church, Ballywaltrim was blessed by the Most Reverend Dermot J. Ryan, Archbishop of Dublin.
1986 Hurricane Charley 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.