AskDefine | Define bray

Dictionary Definition

bray n : the cry of an ass


1 braying characteristic of donkeys [syn: hee-haw]
2 reduce to small pieces or particles by pounding or abrading; "grind the spices in a mortar"; "mash the garlic" [syn: grind, mash, crunch, comminute]
3 laugh loudly and harshly

User Contributed Dictionary



  • /brā/
  • /breI/


  1. The cry of an ass or donkey.



the cry of a donkey


  1. Of a donkey, to make its cry.
    Whenever I walked by, that donkey brayed at me.


to make the cry of a donkey

Extensive Definition

Bray (, formerly Brí Chulainn) is a town in northern County Wicklow, Ireland. It is a busy urban centre and seaside town of 31,901 people, making it the fourth largest town in Ireland (excluding the five cities). It is situated about south of Dublin on the eastern coast.
The town is the location of some industry, is home for many who commute to Dublin by car or rail, is a market town for the surrounding area and still attracts tourists particularly from Dublin at weekends. The town 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 Shake Hands with the Devil, Braveheart, and Breakfast on Pluto have been shot.


In medieval times, Bray was on the borders 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. In August or September 1649 Oliver Cromwell is believed to have stayed in Bray on his way to Wexford from Dublin. During the 17 and 18 centuries, Bray was still a small fishing village, but during the latter part of the 18 century, the Dublin middle classes began to move to Bray to escape city life, while still being relatively close to the city. The Dublin & 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 from the 1960s onwards when foreign travel became an option for large numbers of people. However, the town is still popular with visitors particularly from Dublin who come to enjoy the beach, the amusements, ice creams and fast food.


Bray is the ninth largest town in Ireland with a population of 31,901 inhabitants, as of the 2006 Census.
The River Dargle enters the sea here, from a source near Kippure, in the Wicklow Mountains. Bray Head is the situated at the southern end of the promenade and a well-worn track leads to the summit. The rocks of Bray Head are a mixture of greywackes and quartzite. The coastal railway line continues south from Bray along the seaward slopes of Bray Head. At the summit of Bray Head is a large concrete cross, visible from the famous Victorian promenade, which is regularly walked by locals and visitors.
The town is situated on the coast; Shankill, County Dublin is to the north, and Greystones, County Wicklow is to the south. The picturesque village of Enniskerry lies to the west of the town, at the foot of the Wicklow Mountains.

Local government

Bray is governed by a town council, but before the Local Government Act 2001 it was an urban district. Part of the northern Bray area lies within the county of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, despite its seamless integration with the rest of the town. The border between County Wicklow and County Dublin lies along Old Conna / Corke Abbey, thereby making all areas north of that point Bray, County Dublin.
Bray and Dundalk are the only town councils to have twelve members in recognition of their size. Like Dundalk, Sligo and Drogheda, Bray also uses a ward system.
The area around the Southern Cross Road to the south of Bray is not included in the area governed by Bray Town Council, but by Wicklow County Council.


A substantial public transport network, both north into Dublin and south into County Wicklow and County Wexford serve the town. Bray is on the DART Rail Network which stretches north to Malahide and Howth and south to Greystones. The town is also on the mainline Iarnród Éireann Rail Network which connects north to Connolly Station in Dublin city centre and further to Drogheda and Dundalk. To the south, the rail line goes through Arklow, Gorey and Rosslare Europort. Bray's train station is named after Edward Daly, an executed leader of the 1916 Easter Rising. Bray Daly Station was opened on 10 July 1854.
Four bus companies pass through Bray; Dublin Bus, Bus Éireann, Finnegan’s Bray and St. Kevin's Bus Service to Glendalough. Dublin Bus is by far the biggest operator with frequent services to and from Dublin City centre and many services within the greater Bray area. Dublin Bus also provides services to Dún Laoghaire, Enniskerry, Greystones, Kilmacanogue, Kilcoole and Newtownmountkennedy.
There are also plans to extend the Luas green line to Fasseroe, an area of development on the town's western periphery. However, the exact connection between the Luas and the town centre railway station has yet to be decided. The old Harcourt Street railway line ran from Harcourt Street in Dublin to Bray, along much of the route of the new Luas.
Bray lies along the M11 motorway corridor; an interchange at its northern side links with the M50 Dublin bypass.

Tourist facilities

Today, Bray is a vibrant holiday resort and boasts fine hotels and guesthouse accommodation, shops, restaurants and evening entertainment. The town also plays host to a number of high profile festival events.
Available in the vicinity are fifteen 18-hole golf courses, tennis, fishing, sailing and horse riding. Other features of Bray are the amusement arcades and games centre. There is also a leisure centre on Quinsboro Road and a National Sealife Centre on Strand Road. Bray is known as the Gateway to Wicklow and is the longest established seaside town in the country. It has a safe beach of sand and shingle to walk on, which is over 1.6 km (1 mi) long, fronted by a spacious esplanade. Bray Head, which rises steeply (241 m, 790 ft) above the sea, dominates the scene, affording views of mountains and sea. The concrete cross at the top of the head was erected in 1950 for the holy year. The name of the town means hill or rising ground, possibly referring to the gradual incline of the town from the Dargle bridge to Vevay Hill.
Bray makes an ideal base for walkers, ramblers and strollers of all ages. Walkers can join the many locals who stroll the mile long promenade which stretches from the harbour with its colony of mute swans to Bray Head at the southern end of the promenade from which a well worn track leads to the summit. Also very popular with walkers is the Cliff Walk along Bray Head to Greystones.
Other attractions in Bray include the Old Courthouse (1841), Victorian sea front and Bray harbour (1891), St Paul's Church (1609) and Bray Town Hall (1881) (now a McDonald's restaurant).
The annual Bray Summerfest is a popular tourist event, taking place over six weeks in July and August each year. Bray Summerfest features over 100 free entertainment events, including live music, markets, sporting entertainment, carnivals, and family fun. Performers who have headlined include Mundy, Brian Kennedy, The Undertones, The Hothouse Flowers, and Mary Black. In 2006, over 60,000 visitors attended the main festival weekend in mid-July.
Bray also hosts one of the largest carnival and festival events to celebrate the annual St Patrick's holiday. The Bray St Patrick's Carnival & Parade is presented by Bray & District Chamber and is a five-day festival of carnival fun, parades, and live entertainment.
Bray hosts an annual international jazz festival on the May bank holiday weekend, each year. Described by The Irish Times as 'the connoisseur's jazz festival', Bray Jazz has established itself as one of the main events taking place each year on the Irish jazz calendar.
Established in the Millennium year, the festival includes performances by leading name jazz and world music artists from Ireland and abroad, and since its foundation in the Millennium year has featured such top name jazz exponents as American jazz greatsSteve Coleman, the lateAndrew Hill, and Mike Stern, as well as the great French bass player Henry Texier and Polish trumpeter Tomasz Stanko.
The 2007 event featured concerts by Grammy Award nominated American trumpeter Dave Douglas, who subsequently released 'Moonshine', an album based upon recordings of his concert performance at Bray Jazz Festival.
The 2008 event will feature concerts by the legendary Maceo Parker, long time saxophone player with the late James Brown, by the critically acclaimed 'Mare Nostrum', featuring French accordian player Richard Galliano, and by France's Orchestra National de Jazz.

Famous residents

Throughout its history, Bray has attracted a number of noted residents and visitors:
  • Isaac Weld, famous explorer and author lived in Ravenswell, Bray from 1813 to 1856.
  • Chief Justice of Ireland Thomas Langlois Lefroy spent the last three years of his life (from 1866 to 1869) in Newcourt, Bray.
  • Mercury Prize-nominated folk singer Fionn Regan was brought up in the area, which frequently gets a mention in his lyrics.
During the heyday of Ardmore Studios, numerous international film stars stayed and socialised in the town while filming there.


Primary schools

Post primary schools


  • Bray Wanderers AFC.
  • County Wicklow Lawn Tennis Club.
  • Bray Emmetts GAA club.
  • Ardmore Rovers FC.
  • Wolfe Tone Youth Club.
  • Saint Fergal's AFC.
  • Bray Runners AC.

Charitable organisations



Bray is twinned with three towns:


bray in Bulgarian: Брей (град)
bray in Catalan: Bray
bray in Danish: Bray
bray in German: Bray
bray in Spanish: Bray
bray in French: Bray (Irlande)
bray in Irish: Bré
bray in Italian: Bray (Irlanda)
bray in Lithuanian: Brėjus
bray in Dutch: Bray (Ierland)
bray in Japanese: ブレイ
bray in Norwegian: Bray
bray in Norwegian Nynorsk: Bray
bray in Polish: Bray (Irlandia)
bray in Slovak: Bray
bray in Swedish: Bray

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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