In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Bray like this:
BRAY, a village, a parish, a subdistrict and a hundred in Cookham district, Berks. The village stands on the Thames, near the Great Western railway, 1½ mile S by E of Maidenhead; and has a post office under Maidenhead. It occupies the site of the Roman station Bibracte; and is now within the liberty of Windsor forest. -The parish consists of the four divisions of Bray, Maidenhead, Touchen, and Water-Oakley; and contains part of the borough of Maidenhead. Acres, 9,102. Real property, £26,694. ...
Pop., 4,801. Houses, 953. The property is much subdivided. Bray-Wick-Lodge and Bray Grove are chief residences; Ockwells is an old seat; and Cresswells, formerly Filberts, was the place of Nell Gwynne's residence. Jesus' Hospital, founded in 1627 by William Goddard, for 44 persons, is a picturesque brick quadrangle, with an old chapel. Monkey Island, about a mile SE of the village, contains a decayed fishing-house, built by the third Duke of Marlborough, the drawing-room of which was grotesquely decorated with paintings of monkeys. The living is a vicarage, united with the p. curacy of Touchen-End, in the diocese of Oxford. Value, £500.* Patron, the Bishop of Oxford. The church is early English and decorated; has a much later square tower; and-was repaired and altered in 1862. Boyne-Hill vicarage is a separate benefice-There are a chapel-of-ease built in 1864, a Wesleyan chapel, two national schools, an endowed hospital, forming a square of 40 houses with a chapel, and other charities £43. Archbishop Land had a farm in the parish; and Simon Aleyn, notable for having repeatedly changed his creed from popery to Protestantism, and from protestantism to popery, was vicar in four reigns, and died in 1588. An old ballad represents him as saying,-
And this is law, I will maintain
Until my dying day, sir,
That whatsoever king shall reign,
I'll be the vicar of Bray, sir.
The subdistrict contains four parishes. Acres, 16,462. Pop., 6,714. Houses, 1,320.-The hundred is of less extent than Bray parish. Pop., 2,936. Houses, 586.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Bray has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Windsor and Maidenhead. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Bray and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Bray, in Windsor and Maidenhead and Berkshire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 06th December 2013
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