Riverside south bank west of the Tower. Bray

Riverside south bank west of the Tower.  Bray

This post covers south of the river only. North of the river is Bray Lock

Post to the east Monkey Island and Dorney Reach and Amerden

Hotel de Paris. In 1901-2 a house called Braymead was built here and in 1922, when the original resident left, local people formed a syndicate to run what they called the Braymead Court Hotel. This did badly and in 1928 it became the Hotel de Paris. Its new owners were Poulson and Stocco who had the Cafe de Paris – and the bands and stars who came there came down to Bray and played here. The Second World War brought austerity and later the hotel was closed and demolished. The current housing development on site was built in 1964.

Church Lane
3 Hinds Head Hotel. Hall house, now a pub. This dates from the late 15th altered in the 18th, 19th and 20th. It has a timber frame inside painted brick. The origins of the building are unclear – it seems to have  expanded from two 16th century cottages but it has been a pub since at least the 18th now with added celebrity chefs.

Ferry - This is said to have declined from 1280 however there seems to have been some sort of rope hauled ferry in the early 19th and a motor boat in the early 20th.

Ferry Road
Old Dutch House. This was built as a farmhouse with a timber frame, brick infill and hand-made clay tile roof.
St. Anthony’s Cottage. This is a converted coach house.
Waterside Inn. This stands on the river front on what was the site of the George public house.   It is now a hotel (£260 a night) and restaurant (£300 lunch for two)
Slipway – it is assumed that it from here the ferry went.
Messums, Boatyard was here and was famous for its punts. This was the base for the Bray Punt Regatta. It is said that one could walk from Berkshire to Buckinghamshire dry shod on the punts moored across the River.

Hanover Mead
Area for retirement and care home.

Headpile Eyot
Another long thin island in the Thames with trees but no inhabitants

High Street
St. Michael’s Church. There was an almost certainly a Saxon church here, but its site is unclear. The current church was built in 1293 and was a royal foundation by Queen Margaret. The church was then owned by Cirencester Abbey.   The battlemented church tower was built in 1400 and stone benches in the porch were used for church meetings. The bells were installed from 1612 and the clock in 1840. During the civil war the royal coat of arms was hidden but can now be seen and there is a cannon ball embedded in the wall from the same period. In 1867 the church was restored by T.H.Wyatt. The heads of villagers around the church date from that period and some were copies of list originals.
Stone relief which could come from the original church. It may show a horse or a dog with a leash and it is built into the wall of the chantry
St Michael’s Hall. This was the Chantry Chapel which is on the north boundary of the churchyard and built at the same time as the Church probably to pray for the soul of someone diseased, maybe Queen Eleanor.  The Hall is constructed of the same chalk and flint as the church. It continued as a chantry until the reformation and in 1683 became the village church. It is now used as a church hall.
Lich Gate and its Cottage was probably housing for the chantry priest. It later became a pub called the Six Bells – there were then six bells in the church. It is now leased out.
Chauntry House.  This is a large house east of the Church. This building was originally a workhouse. Built in the 18th century it is an imposing brick built building with large bay windows
War Memorial. This is at the junction with Ferry Road.  It is a stone cross recording 72 names for the Great War and 27 for the Second World War.
Maidenhead and Bray Cricket Ground. Established in 1798
The Fat Duck. This was previously The Bell Inn, and later called The Ringers - now more celebrity chefs  (Christmas lunch £350)
The Village Hall. With a clock tower.
Quoin House.  It is said to be built in the same brick as Brunel’s Maidenhead Bridge.
Jesus Hospital. This was founded by William Goddard in 1609. The original 34 almshouses, built in a quadrangle between 1623 and 1628, have been remodelled to form 13 single and 4 double homes. There is also a chapel.  Donnington Hospital assumed responsibility for these almshouses with effect in 2010 from the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers
The Crown, one of the oldest buildings in Bray, with the central section of the building dating from the 14th.  It is also said to be one of the few in the village with a cellar. More gastro

Old Mill Lane
Bray Mill.  There was a mill here in the Domesday period and the Manor belonged to the Crown which may explain the omission. In the early 13th it was given to Jordan de London, and appears to have continued in use until the early 20th. It is cited as a corn mill but also was used for paper manufacture - Level's Paper Mill was noted in 1770 by Brindley..  The miller contributed to the cost of a new weir at Bray Lovck in 1843.  It is now a private house with the milling machinery removed, it became a private house.
Caldesi in Campagna.  This was the Albion Public House which served a riverside wharf to the north. The Albion was built around 1850 to serve the barges that brought coal and timber to the wharf. It has since been called The Fish at Bray, The Jasmine Oriental, and The Slice. Now more gastro since 2007 ‘rural idyll for fine dining’.

The Causeway
The Causeway, This is now a footpath which was once the main route across the floodplain from

Upper Bray Road
Bray Bridge over The Cut. This is a Bailey Bridge normally used as an emergency replacement

Book History. Blog. Web site
Braybank History. Web site
British Listed Buildings. Web site
Caldesi in Campagna. Web site
Crown Pub. Web site
Donnington Hospital Trust. Web site
Fat Duck. Website
Hinds Head. Web site
SABRE. Roaders Digest. Web site
St Michael's Church. Web site
Wargrave Local History Society. Web site
Waterside Inn. Web site
Where Thames Smooth Waters Glide. Web site
Windsor and Maidenhead Council. Web site


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