Bray’s earliest history is shrouded in the mists of time, there are traces of Bronze age (2,300 to 600 BC) settlements in the area. There is also evidence of visits to Bray by Romans, possibly from Britain, circa the first century BC.
Bray’s history is well documented from Norman times, when lands were granted by Strongbow (Richard de Clare, Second Earl of Pembroke) on behalf of the crown to Sir Walter de Riddlesford circa 1171. The town would have developed around the manor created by de Riddlesford consisting of a castle, a church and a mill.
The history of the town is also intertwined with the history of the Brabazon Family of Killruddery, Edward Baron Ardee was granted Killruddery by James lst in 1619.
However the development of the town that we see today is largely attributed to William Dargan a railway entrepreneur in the 19th Century. Thanks to the arrival of the railway in 1834, the bustling town developed as a popular seaside resort and became known as the “Brighton of Ireland”.
Check out Bray’s wikipedia page here!