- Bray, Berkshire
Bray (sometimes Bray-on-Thames) is a
villageand civil parishin the English county of Berkshire. It stands on the banks of the River Thames, just south-west of Maidenhead. It is famous as the village mentioned in the song "The Vicar of Bray".
Bray has always been a very large parish, although it has shrunk considerably since Maidenhead became independent in 1894. As well as the main village, the parish contains a large number of villages and hamlets, often greens, which were originally scattered amongst the dense woodland of Windsor Forest that once covered the area. These include:
Bray Wick, Holyport, Water Oakley, Oakley Green, Moneyrow Green, Stud Green, Foxley Green, Touchen End, Braywoodside, Hawthorn Hill and Fifield.
Despite being located on the very edge of Maidenhead, Bray is still very much an idyllic English village. It won best 'Small Village' in the 2005
Britain in Bloomawards, while its cricket clubis the oldest in the county, having been first established in 1798. Bray is a very affluent residential area, as well as being a place popular with tourists exploring the Thames. There are many delightful walks and a number of well-known eating establishments. Two of its restaurants have three Michelin stars: The Fat Duck, which was adjudged the best restaurant in the world by "Restaurant" magazine in 2005, and the Waterside Inn, which ranked 19 in "Restaurant"'s list. This is particularly significant as there are only three triple-starred restaurants in Great Britain. There are also many television and film studios in the Bray area.
There are several very expensive houses on the river upstream of
Bray Lockand they have been referred to as 'Millionaires row' in the national press. The flooding risk of these houses has recently been decreased by the Jubilee Rivera large drainage ditch between Maidenhead and Eton.
Notable buildings and structures
Church of England parish churchof St Michael was built in 1293, supposedly to replace a Saxon church at Water Oakley. It has a number of sculptures which may have come from th earlier church, including a damaged Sheela na Gig. It is best known to brass rubbers for housing the superb memorial brass of 1378 to Sir John Foxley, the Constable of Southampton Castle, and his two wives. One of the local cottages has a tunnel which it is believed leads to the church and served as an escape route for clergymen.
The Jesus Hospital is a red-brick group of almhouses, founded in 1609 by William Goddard, whose full-size effigy stands over the entrance, to house thirty-four of the aged poor of Bray and six of the
Worshipful Company of Fishmongersto which he belonged.
Monkey Island Lodge
Monkey Island, Bray".
Monkey Island, in the Thames, is associated with the 3rd Duke of Marlborough, and still houses two amusing structures that he built and furnished with paintings of monkeys.
Gerry Anderson- TV Producer
Rolf Harris- Artist, Musician, TV Presenter
Michael Parkinson- TV Presenter
Michael Winner- Film director/producer
Terry Wogan- Radio Presenter
BBCfaux cooking show " Posh Nosh", Simon and Minty Marchmont ran a restaurant near Bray.
* Bray Studios
* [http://www.windsor.gov.uk/maps/bray.htm The Official Windsor Site: Bray]
* [http://www.berkshirehistory.com/villages/bray.html Royal Berkshire History: Bray]
* [http://www.braybank-estates.co.uk Official Website of the Braybank Estate]
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