Skip to content


#3 - A History of Bray: The Victorian Promenade

A cache by sarahmur Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 04/07/2014
2 out of 5
4 out of 5

Size: Size:   regular (regular)

Join now to view geocache location details. It's free!


How Geocaching Works

Please note Use of services is subject to the terms and conditions in our disclaimer.

Geocache Description:

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

In 1859 the first promenade, stretching one mile from the harbour to Bray Head, was constructed. The following year swimming baths were erected at the northern end of the beach with separate facilities for males and females. Separate bathing booths on wheels were set up along the beach and those seeking privacy could wheel them to the water’s edge. 

Simultaneously, elegant Victorian villas and terraces were erected along the seafront. Houses facing the sea cost up to £150 a month to rent. The upper middle classes began to find that Bray possessed a social status attractive to aristocrats. Among the new residents were Sir William Wilde, Archbishop Plunket and members of the Guinness and Switzer families. Many of the gentry became permanent residents while others merely had their summer homes there. Some Dublin businessmen installed their mistresses in their Bray houses. 
William Dargan realised that the town’s most important asset was the seafront and that its potential should be exploited. He took a long lease on land running parallel with the shore, cleared the stones and converted the area into a landscaped promenade. He also laid a road running parallel with the beach. 

The promenade was built as a Grand Marine Parade with two bandstands, flowerbeds, palm trees and other amenities added later. The cast iron railings and seats added a distinctive air to the resort. 

One of the people to take advantage of the growing status of Bray as a prestigious resort was the surgeon and antiquarian, Sir William Wilde, father of the playwright Oscar. In 1861, he built 1-4 Esplanade Terrace in the elegant style of Victorian architecture of the period. They were tall, three-storey houses over basements. Sir William Wilde also built another nearby house, Elsinore, which is now the Strand Hotel. 

After the second World War the reputation of Bray was to deteriorate from being an elegant resort to being the Blackpool of Ireland. The genteel hotels and tea-rooms were replaced by fish and chippers, amusement arcades, large dancehalls and singing pubs.   

History taken from Bray and North Wicklow by Arthur Flynn

The cache

This is a multi cache, which could take about an hour to complete from start to finish. As you walk along the promenade, take note of the below landmarks. It is worth reading all the required items before starting your walk from the North end of the promenade and walking South in the direction of Bray Head. 

AB = The number of new lights along the promenade, which closely resemble the mirror a dentist uses to look at your teeth. The modern lights starkly contrast the still very Victorian look of the promenade. These lights are all along the promenade, see the gallery photo of one of the lights to confirm what you’re looking for. For those who don’t have access to the photos, the lights have a circle at the top of each one, which is tilted down facing the ground. The lights appear between Martello Terrace on the north side of the promenade and The Boathouse on the south side. 

C = The number of small kiosks which house shops, selling various goodies such as ice-cream and pancakes (generally only open in the summer). The huts were recently painted with vertical stripes, which adds to their whimsy and charm. See the gallery photo of one of these huts to confirm what you’re looking for. 

D = The number of shelters on the promenade, which are ideal for hiding under when you get caught in a downpour. See the gallery photo of one of these shelters to confirm what you’re looking for. If you don’t have access to the photos, you’re looking for shelters with flat round roofs, with steps and a ramp leading up to them from behind. 

E = The number of vertical pillars holding up the copper roof of the bandstand. No photo for this one as it would be giving away the game . There is only one bandstand, so you should be able to figure this one out. E = 8 ~ the bandstand is currently covered due to work being carried out

To find the cache, do the following maths: 
N 53 (A-D)(B+1).(C+1)(D)(E-1)
W 006 (B)(E-A).(D)(E/2)(C+A)

Each bracket denotes one digit. 

The container is a lock and seal box, with enough room for swaps and trackables. There is some kid friendly swag in the container at the time of hiding, along with a small prize for FTF. 

The terrain is uneven and the last few metres to GZ can be slippery if it's been raining, and will no doubt become overgrown in the summer. You will also have nettles and thorns to contend with. Please watch your footing! I recommend coming down, then going up (all will become clear once you have the final coordinates and get near to GZ). This spot can be busy in good weather – but you always have the excuse that you’re taking in the view

There is parking along the beach, which is pay & display at some times. The Dart will leave you within a few minutes walk of the starting coordinates.

You can check your answers for this puzzle on

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:

***Congratulations to silver soldier for FTF***

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Oruvaq n ynetr ebpx jvgu juvgr znexvatf ba gur sebag (abg tenssvgv)

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)

Reviewer notes

Use this space to describe your geocache location, container, and how it's hidden to your reviewer. If you've made changes, tell the reviewer what changes you made. The more they know, the easier it is for them to publish your geocache. This note will not be visible to the public when your geocache is published.