"BRAY, a parish in the hundred of Bray, in the county of Berks, 14 miles to the E. of Reading. Maidenhead is its post town. It is pleasantly situated on the banks of the river Thames, near Monkey Island, and contains part of the town of Maidenhead, which is a station on the Great Western railway. Bray forms part of the liberty of Windsor Forest, and retains some in the diocese of Oxford, of the value of £500, in the patronage of the bishop. The church, a spacious building partly in the early English, partly in the perpendicular style of architecture, is dedicated to St. Michael. It was entirely restored and partly rebuilt in 1862, under the direction of T. Wyatt, the architect. It has recently been enriched with stained-glass windows, and contains several monumental brasses, the earliest bearing the date of 1370, and some old family tombs." (more....)

"BOYNE HILL, a chapelry in the parish of Bray, in the county of Berks. Maidenhead is its post town. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of Oxford, value £120, in the patronage of the bishop The church, which has been recently erected, is dedicated to All Saints."

"MONKEY ISLAND, an islet in the Thames, in the parish of Bray, county Berks, 2 miles S.E. of Maidenhead. It derives its name from a rustic seat built upon it by the Duke of Marlborough, the panels of which are whimsically adorned with monkeys."

"PINKNEYS GREEN, a hamlet in the parish of Bray, county Berks, 2 miles N.W. of Maidenhead."

"TEMPLE HOUSE, a hamlet in the parishes of Bray and Cookham, county Berks, 4 miles N.W. of Maidenhead. It is situated on the Thames, and contains Temple Mills copper-works."

"TOUCHES [aka Touchen End?], a division in the parish and hundred of Bray, county Berks."

"WATER-OAKLEY, a division in the parish and hundred of Bray, county Berks."

From The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland(1868). Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003.

Other descriptions can be found from other periods in various trade directories covering Berkshire from the early 19th century onwards from Berkshire FHS and from A Vision of Britain Through Time.


Archives & Libraries

In addition to those listed on the Berkshire home page, see the Research Wiki from Family Search (the Church of Latter-day Saints (Genealogical Society of Utah))


Church History

Further information about some of the churches can be found below:

  • Church of England:  
    • Touchen End Holy Trinity church closed in 1972 and is now a private residence (for retired clergy?)
    • The Mission Hall in Winter Hill Road, Pinkney's Green is now the Pinkneys Green Scout hut.  There is a sketch of it in "The Royal Hundred of Cookham" by Luke Over.  He writes :"the old scout hut which stands close to Ditton House originated as a small chapel linked to Cookham Dean church which was built by Mr Lee to meet the needs of the people living in Pinknys Green in 1860. A curate was employed to hold the services and look after this part of the district.  Lady Lee supplied an altar cloth in 1895 and Mr&  Mrs Norsworthy supplied another plus a lectern and Bible in 1899.  However, the use of the chapel was discontinued in 1900 and it was turned into a library and reading room [labelled "Club & Institute" on 1933 map].  In 1929, it was enlarged by Emil Garcke and used for the boy scouts.  In the second world war, with additional evacuees, it was in use as a school."   The Lees were local landowners living in neighbouring Ditton House.  In 1903, it was sold to Mr Garcke.  Mrs and Mrs Norsworthy lived at Clarefield a large house opposite Pinkneys Farm.  Probably the reason why the chapel was discontinued as St Peter's Furze Platt had been built as a permanent church in 1898.  It was first established by St Luke's as a mission hut in 1887.  Some of the labourers at the Pinkneys Green Brick works lived at Furze Platt as it was nearer to Maidenhead. [edited from Judith Mitchell's email, 2012]

Description & Travel

You can see pictures of Bray which are provided by:




Historical Geography

  • Bray was in the hundred of Bray

You can see the administrative areas in which Bray has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.



  • Bray Today and Yesterday - The History of a Thames-side Village by Nan Birney in the 1998 version edited by Richard Russell ISBN 0 9533106 0 4, available from Reading Central Library


You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SU901775 (Lat/Lon: 51.48928, -0.703677), Bray which are provided by:


Poor Houses, Poor Law

Bray was in the Cookham Union.  For more information, see Poorhouses.