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#2 - A History of Bray: Martello Tower

A cache by sarahmur Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 02/11/2014
2 out of 5
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size:   micro (micro)

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Geocache Description:

A History of Bray is a short series of caches intended to bring finders to historically important places in Bray. 

This cache is a short multi which should take a total of 10 - 15 minutes to complete. 

The starting coordinates bring you near to Bray promenade. From here, you should have a good view of both Martello Tower and Martello Terrace (although the tower is best seen in daylight hours).  

Martello Tower

One of the most impressive landmarks in Bray is the Martello Tower that has been overlooking the harbour for almost two centuries. 
From the end of the eighteenth century there was widespread speculation amongst the British authorities that the French would launch an attack on Ireland’s unprotected east coast. As a precaution they ordered that thirty towers and batteries be erected along the coastline from Bray to Balbriggan as watchtowers in the event of an invasion.

These were called Martello Towers, a term originating from a similar tower at Cap Martellor in Corsica. They were designed to be erected in sight of each other so that on spotting an approaching enemy fleet, a message could be relayed from tower to tower and back to army headquarters in Dublin. 

These circular granite towers, about 25 feet high cost approximately £1,800 each to erect. Most of the towers had an 18 pounder gun and battery attached. The towers were situated between half a mile and one and a half miles apart to give mutual support with an overlapping field of fire from the guns. The invasion never materialised and the towers were never used in combat. 

Three of these towers were constructed on the coastline at Bray – the first on a sandbank opposite the Esplanade Hotel collapsed in the 1880s. The tower still standing on the southern side of the harbour at the railway bridge has been converted in to a dwelling. The third tower, which was situated on the coastline at the rear of Ravenswell Convent, collapsed into the sea in the 1860s.

In the 1980s, U2 frontman Bono purchased the surviving tower and lived there for a number of years. He undertook major renovations and added a glass roof. Frequently his underwear was stolen off the clothesline by Spanish students. A later resident of the tower was the singer Shane McGowan from The Pogues. 

Martello Terrace

One of the most elegant terraces in Bray is Martello Terrace. The terrace, consisting of three-storey houses with balconies and fretwork verandas, backs onto the harbour at the northern end of Bray’s promenade. 

The most famous resident of the terrace was the writer James Joyce. In May 1887 John Joyce moved his family into 1 Martello Terrace. Joyce Senior chose this address because of his desire to live near water and it was far enough from his wife’s relatives. 

James Joyce’s first memories, which open his novel Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, were not of Brighton Square in Dublin where he was born, but of this house in Bray. James’ childhood sweetheart, Eileen Vance, lived in 4 Martello Terrace. John Joyce’s financial problems forced the family to leave the house in 1891. James Joyce was never again to visit Bray. 

The writer/director Neil Jordan lived at number two for a number of years. In 1991 the terrace and seafront featured prominently in his film The Miracle. 

History taken from Bray and North Wicklow by Arthur Flynn

The cache

To calculate the end coordinates, have a look around you at the starting point and find the following: 

1. How many houses are on Martello Terrace? Call this A. 

2. How many windows are along the top row of windows on Martello Terrace? Call this BC. 

3. From here, you will see a street name sign - how many letters in total are on the sign (in Irish & English)? Call this DE. 

4. There is a parking meter nearby. What is the minimum purchase in cents? Call this FG. 

The cache is located at N 53  [E][D].[C-1][1][F+B] W 006 [G][C+E].[E][C][B+(GxA)]

Square brackets denote one digit. 

The cache is a micro – please bring your own pen. There is ample parking beside the starting coordinates (watch out for pay & display times) and the DART station is within a few minutes walk. The physical cache is a short five minute walk from here.  

If you have found all 7 geocaches in the History of Bray series: #1 - A History of Bray: The Old Courthouse, #2 - A History of Bray: Martello Tower, #3 - A History of Bray: The Victorian Promenade, #4 - A History of Bray: The Bray Head Inn, #5 - A History of Bray: The Old Railway, #6 - A History of Bray: Killruddery and #7 - A History of Bray: The French School, you can use the following html code ....

<a href=""> <img src="" border="0" /></a>

.... to have this logo on your profile:

***Congrats to Moonshiner Extraordinaire for FTF!***

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Unatvat nebhaq

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)