February 23, 2024
Reading Time: 5 minutes

The Carlisle Grounds, one of the oldest football stadium locations in Ireland, still has a lot of personality despite losing both of its historic barrel-roofed stands in the past ten years. Let’s learn more about this football stadium in this article!

About the Carlisle Grounds

Carlisle Grounds

When the annals of football history unfold, there are places that stand as silent witnesses to the evolution of the beautiful game. One such hallowed ground, etched into the fabric of Bray, County Wicklow, Ireland, is. In this narrative journey, we traverse through time to unearth the fascinating history that lies within the very foundations of this iconic stadium.

As the winds of destiny blew in 1862, the Bray Athletic Ground emerged as a sporting haven, hosting various events that would shape its future. Later christened the Carlisle Cricket and Archery Ground, this haven was a tribute to the 7th Earl of Carlisle, who graced its opening ceremony as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. Over time, the moniker was briefly reduced to the Carlisle Grounds, which resonates across eras.

Bray’s footballing heritage gained roots in this very soil as matches of grit and glory unfolded on the meticulously maintained pitch. Fast forward to the present, and the Carlisle Grounds boasts a seating capacity of 7,000, with the reverberations of cheers and chants painting a vivid backdrop to its storied past. Notably, this historic venue played an unforgettable role in filming the Bloody Sunday scene in the 1996 film “Michael Collins,” bridging cinematic artistry with the real-world emotions of the game.

As we dive into the pages of history, we’ll unravel the significance of the Carlisle Grounds as a home to Bray Wanderers A.F.C. and its metamorphosis into a hub for football and community engagement. From its early days as the Bray Athletic Ground to hosting international rugby league matches, the Carlisle Grounds has witnessed many events that have become threads woven into the narrative of Bray’s legacy.

General Information

  • Capacity: 7,000 (3,185 Seats)
  • Address: Quinsborough Rd, Bray, County Wicklow
  • Telephone: 01 2828 214
  • Pitch Size: 113 x 70 yards
  • Pitch Type: Grass
  • Club Nickname: Seagulls
  • Year Ground Opened: 1862
  • Undersoil Heating: No
  • Home Kit: Green and White Stripes
  • Official Web Site: https://braywanderersfc.ie/

You can look at the map to find the location of Carlisle Grounds:

Bray Wanderers Football Club

Bray Wanderers FC, a prominent Irish association football club, has etched a remarkable narrative in the League of Ireland First Division. Founded in 1942 as a resurgence from the shadows of Gaelic football, the club embarked on a journey marked by triumphs, challenges, and an unwavering commitment to the sport.

The club’s foundation can be traced back to the aftermath of a dispute within St Kevin’s Gaelic football club in Bray in 1922, leading to the formation of Bray Wanderers. The ensuing decades witnessed the club’s ascent and descent through various divisions, with notable achievements including FAI Intermediate Cup triumphs in 1955-56 and 1957-58. However, it was the landmark victory in the FAI Cup in 1990 that propelled Bray Wanderers into European competition for the first time.

Despite the turbulence of managerial changes and financial uncertainties, the club’s resilience has remained a defining trait. The recent merger with Cabinteely F.C. in 2021 further exemplifies the club’s commitment to evolution while upholding its legacy. As the team looks forward to the future with renewed vigor, the story of Bray Wanderers FC stands as a testament to the enduring spirit of football in Ireland.

What’s It Like On The Carlisle Grounds?

What's It Like On The Carlisle Grounds?

The Carlisle Grounds is one of the biggest stadiums in Ireland. Bray Daly Railway Station essentially serves as access to the turnstiles alongside the Quinsborough Road Level Crossing.

As we turn into the Bray Wanderers Stadium from this corner, we can see the Quinsborough Road End, which hasn’t changed much throughout the years, directly to our left. It’s possible that this tiny walkway, which has a gently sloping grass bank and is surrounded by shrubbery and a few large trees, is one of Ireland’s most scenic behind goal terraces.

On the opposite side of the street, a tidy row of Edwardian homes looks over the penalty area. Looking to the right from the Quinsborough Road End, we can see the Railway Side, which once had a barrel roofed cover that nearly covered the entire pitch.

This was constructed as a backdrop for the movie, Michael Collins. It was then taken out, leaving the concrete base we see today, which has 12 concrete steps and provides a great vantage point for the pitch.

Oddly, there were previously 12 rows of red plastic chairs built on the concrete deck, but these have since been replaced by 5 or 6 rows of seating, providing about 2,200 seats with rows 7 through 12 being essentially empty.

From the Quinsborough Road End, straight across the field, we can see the Training Ground End, which is essentially a grassed 5-a-side field that backs into the parking lot next to Seapoint Road.

If you want to stand behind the goal, there is a small, flat area in front of the practice field, and the view of Bray Head and the County Wicklow mountain range provides a rather magnificent backdrop. In 2006, a green and white painted barrel roofed standing cover that was dismantled was replaced by the current temporary sitting stand on the Seymour Road side.

Although many older supporters will undoubtedly claim that the new stand doesn’t have the same charm as the one it replaces, the seven rows of green plastic seats provide seating for 985 people, and the green canvas roof matches the club’s colors. On the training field end, a modest hospitality area flanks the stand.

Directions to Carlisle Grounds

Bray Wanderers stadium view from above

By car

From the North

From South Dublin, go north on the N11/M11. Just north of Bray, exit the M11, and then turn right onto the R119 Dublin Road at the junction. Follow the route towards the town center after crossing the river bridge, then turn left onto Quinsborough Road. The Grounds will be on your left as you approach the level crossing; turn left into Seymour Road to access the main entrance.

From the South

From Wicklow, take the N11 north. South of Bray, take the exit, and at the roundabout, turn right onto the R768 to cross over the N11. Turn left onto the R767 Killarney Road at the following roundabout.

As it passes through the heart of the town, keep to this road. Turn right onto Quinsborough Road once you’ve reached the town center. The Carlisle Grounds will be on your left as you approach the level crossing; turn left into Seymour Road to access the main entrance.

By Train

Carlisle Gardens is merely a five-minute stroll from Bray (Daly) Railway Station. Turn right as you exit the station and then make a left turn onto Quinsborough Road. On the right, up on the ground.

Utilizing the Dart service, which travels from Dublin along the coast to Bray, is the simplest and most regular option. The trip takes about 45 minutes from Dublin Connolly to Bray and about 39 minutes from Dublin Pearse station. Services are offered every 15 to 30 minutes.

By Bus

Every 10 minutes, Bus No. 145 provides service to Kilmacanogue. It leaves at Dublin Heuston and travels down the River Liffey’s north bank through Dublin City Center before continuing on to Bray and Kilmacanogue. You must exit at Main Street Bary (near McDonald’s at the Town Hall intersection), then search for the signs pointing to the beachfront and railroad station.


Ticket Prices

  • Adults €15
  • Senior Citizens/Students €10
  • Second Level Education Children €5

The office across from the bowling alley is where tickets can be purchased.

Above is some information about the Carlisle Grounds. We hope that through this article, you have gained a better understanding of Bray Wanderers Stadium and already know how to get there. Thanks for reading this article!

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