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
The Carlisle Grounds are one of the oldest football ground sites in Ireland, and despite losing both of its old barrel roofed stands in the last decade, the ground and indeed its very location still maintain a great deal of character. Approaching Bray from the scenic Dart Commuter line between Dublin Connolly and Greystones the ground sits around 100 metres from the breezy seafront, with Bray Daly Railway Station effectively forming an entrance to the turnstiles alongside the Quinsborough Road Level Crossing. Entering the ground on this corner we see immediately to our left the Quinsborough Road End which has remained unchanged for a good number of years. Perhaps one of the most picturesque behind goal terraces in Ireland, the narrow walkway has a gently sloping grass bank, bordered by shrubberies and a couple of mature trees. A neat row of Edwardian houses on the far side of the road peer over the penalty area. Alas fans are not allowed to stand on the grass bank due to 'health and safety' concerns. From the Quinsborough Road End looking over to the right, we see the Railway Side, which for a short while featured a barrel roofed cover which ran almost the full length of the pitch. This was built for as part of the back drop for the film Micheal Collins. However it was subsequently removed, leaving the concrete base we see today, which features 12 concrete steps, offering an excellent elevated view of the pitch. Oddly the concrete deck once had 12 rows of red plastic seats installed, but these have now been replaced by 5-6 rows of seating, giving around 2,200 seats with rows 7-12 effectively unused.
The Carlisle Grounds made the news for the wrong reasons in 2009 and 2010 when a section of the old pitch side perimeter wall collapsed following spectator goal celebrations. This wall has been replaced by the more lightweight metal mesh and plastic top handrail design on three sides of the ground. Looking directly across the pitch from the Quinsborough Road End we see the Training Ground End, effectively a grassed 5-a-side pitch which backs onto the car park alongside Seapoint Road. There is a small flat standing area in front of the training ground should you wish to stand behind the goal, the view of the Bray Head and the County Wicklow mountain range offers a pretty spectacular backdrop. Turning finally to the Seymour Road side the current temporary seated stand replaces a green and white painted barrel roofed standing cover which was demolished in 2006.Many older fans will no doubt argue this new stand lacks the character of the stand it replaces, nevertheless the green canvas roof is in keeping with the club colours, the seven rows of green plastic seats providing cover for 985 spectators. This stand is actually longer than the old cover it replaces, and still has a unique long dug out situated in front of it, on the pitch centre line. The stand is flanked on the training ground end by a small hospitality area. Pleasingly the ground's green and white painted ironwork over the Players Entrance Gate alongside Seymour Road has remained, despite the old stands back wall, which stood beside it, having been demolished. Its just a pity the new metal gate hasn't been painted green to match the gate it replaced.
Away supporters are accommodated on the Railway Side which has 5-6 rows of open seating and runs the full length of the pitch. There is an additional six steps between the seating and the back wall. However with the absence of crush barriers in this area it is uncertain if people are allowed to stand there during a game.
The ground is only five minutes walk from the town centre, follow the road from the level crossing away from the sea front and at the end of Quinsborough Road turn left into Main Street to find a good selection of pubs and eating outlets. Or of the weather is good then there a few bars dotted along the sea front, including one of my favourites, the Porterhouse. There is also a handy fish and chip shop located across the road from the entrance to the railway station.
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From the North
Follow the N11/M11 from South Dublin. Turn off the M11 just north of Bray and at the roundabout turn right onto the R119 Dublin Road. Pass over the river bridge and follow the road into the town centre,then turn left into Quinsborough Road. Just before the level crossing you will see the stadium on the left, turn left into Seymour Road for the main entrance.
From the South
Follow the N11 North from Wicklow, turn off south of Bray, and at the roundabout turn right onto the R768 to take you over the N11.At the next roundabout turn left into the R767 Killarney Road. Follow this road as it leads through the town centre. Once in the town centre turn right into Quinsborough Road. Just before the level crossing you will see the stadium on the left, turn left into Seymour Road for the main entrance.
There is a small car park inside the ground, the entrance to which is at the bottom of Seymour Road. The roads around the football ground are a mixture of 'Residents Only' parking, where a residents permit is required, or on street 'Pay and Display' parking. If you continue past the Carlisle Grounds down to the sea front then there are a couple of free car parks situated near the promenade.
Bray (Daly) Railway Station is only a five minute walk away from Carlisle Gardens. As you come out of the station entrance turn right and then turn left into Quinsborough Road. The ground is up on the right.
The easiest and most frequent service is to use the Dart service which runs from Dublin along the coast to Bray. Journey time from Dublin Connolly to Bray is around 45 minutes, whilst from Dublin Pearse station it is around 39 minutes. Services run every 15-30 minutes. See the Irish Rail website for timetables and ticketing information.
There is the Bus No 145 service that runs every ten minutes to Kilmacanogue. It starts at Dublin Heuston and goes along the northside bank of the River Liffey, through Dublin City Centre and on towards Bray and Kilmacanogue. You will need to get off at Main Street Bary (just before McDonalds at the Town Hall junction) then look for the signposts to the Railway Station and seafront. For timetables and a route map see the Dublin Bus website.
Senior Citizens €10
Under 12's €5
Tickets can be purchased from the office located opposite the bowling alley.
Official Programme €3
Geographically speaking University College Dublin are the nearest league club, however there are a number of Leinster Province County Wicklow rivalries with teams such as Wayside Celtic and Arklow Town.
5,000 v Cork City 1989
2016: 867 (Premier Division)
2015: 823 (Premier Division)
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Special thanks to Owen Pavey for providing the information and photos of Carlisle Grounds Bray Wanderers.
Bray Wanderers v Limerick SSE Airtricity Premier Division Saturday 25th March 2017, 7.30pm Jonathan Bobbett (Neutral fan)
Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting Carlisle Gardens?
I was in Dublin for the Republic of Ireland v Wales World Cup qualifier which took place the night before. We were also looking to attend an Irish Premier league game and chose Bray who have made a good start to the season and is short train journey from Dublin.
Outside The Club Gates
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
We took the Dart train from Sandymount station direct to Bray. The journey is along the coast and there are some breath taking views along the way. The station at Bray is around a five minute walk from the Carlisle Gardens ground.
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
On exiting the station, we made our way to a rather busy chip shop where there was a large array of dishes available and tables where you could sit down. The locals were very friendly. A couple of our party headed a nearby pub called the Hibernia after our meal. The pub was a short walk from the chippie just on the right going towards the sea.
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides the Carlisle Gardens?
There was no cash accepted on the gate so we had to buy tickets beforehand. They were a reasonably priced at €10. After buying our tickets we did a quick circuit of the ground. There is some metal gates outside the ground with 'Bray Wanderers' across the top in steel. At the top of the street was located the car park where we were advised that there is only one turnstile to enter the ground which is close to the railway station. on entering the ground, we were greeted by the programme seller. You enter behind one of the goals which is mostly concrete hard standing with a couple of food outlets and a of number huts which I presume are the club offices. In one of the huts contained the club shop which contained a large array of club souvenirs such as scarves, replica shirts and training gear. On the far side up the side of the pitch is a covered stand where most of the home fans sit. It's a rather basic stand but does have green seats which are Bray's colours. At the opposite side of the ground is a large uncovered concrete terrace which also has some rows of seats at the front. This was where the Limerick fans stood along with us neutrals. Behind the other goal is not available for spectators and looked to be mostly grass. The players change behind this goal and it also contains the car park.
Quinsborough Road End
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
The game started well with Limerick unexpected taking the lead with a thunderous long range shot. This put the Limerick fans in good voice. Bray who had been amongst the goals previous to this match struggled to create clear cut chances and Limerick always looked the most likely to score. As the game wore on, the Bray fans became more agitated as did their players. The Limerick fans got behind their team with some brief interludes of doling out stick to the referee. I didn't sample the food and drinks on offer other than a much needed cup of tea. There were two outlets serving hot and cold food as well as soft drinks. The final whistle was greeted with loud cheers from the Limerick fans and their players came over to show their appreciation. It was an unexpected win for Limerick who had just been promoted and had made a slow start to the league season. The attendance was surprisingly small at just over 600.
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
It was a quick get away given the sparse crowd. We headed straight for the station where we waited around 15 minutes for the next train back to Dublin.
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
Bray is right on the coast and perhaps we should've allowed more time to see the town and enjoy the local amenities however we were coming straight from the Leinster v Blues rugby match at the RDS Arena. The welcome was good and it was good to see a match standing on a terrace where we enjoyed an uninterrupted view. It was well worth the visit overall and I aim to do further League of Ireland games in the future.
Bray Wanderers v St Patricks Athletic
League of Ireland Premier
Saturday, May 16th, 2015, 5.45pm
Myles Munsey (Groundhopper)
Reason for going:
It has always been my intention to take in a game in Ireland and on the last day of a week’s holiday this seemed a good way to round off the trip. Not that I viewed this as any old game. My itinerary had been arranged so as to be in the Wexford area before the game so geographically this was a good fit. The novelty of a Saturday evening game appealed as well. I always think it nice that these unassuming Irish towns can support league football albeit at semi-professional level.
I had reason earlier in the day to be in Wexford in pursuit of another of my hobbies so the lunchtime train arriving Bray at 3.00pm was ideal for a 5.45 kick-off.
A tidy if unspectacular ground dominated by two enormous trees behind the goal at the south end. Bray’s answer to Glebe Park perhaps? All around there were details picked out in green – a nice touch.
Before the game:
My arrival at 3.00 in Bray gave sufficient time to walk along the promenade and then take a walk part of the way along the cliff top towards Greystones where fabulous views over the ocean may be had. There was time for a quick tea-time light meal at one of Bray’s excellent cafes then it was off to the ground. There was a ticket dispensing hut immediately outside so no bother buying entry for the princely sum of 5 euros. (Senior rate!).
The programme (3 euros) by the way was the only one I’ve ever seen that published a weather forecast. A nice touch but how can they be so sure? Actually it was very accurate!
There was also a catering van parked up outside –prices in euros
Hot dog. 4.50
Choc bar. 1.50
Water, tea, coffee. 2.00
I took up position in the main covered stand to avoid facing the sun which was starting to sink lower in the west.
A beautiful sunlit evening – light breeze – perfect for football. Having leaked 20 goals in their previous four games prospects for the home side against one of the divisions leading teams looked bleak if the programme editor (who published a myriad of depressing statistics) was to believed. That’s not how it turned out. Playing for a new manager, the Wanderers harried and chased from start to finish and this had the desired effect of knocking St. Patricks out of their stride. That said, the game could have gone either way with each side missing a sitter and both goal keepers making last ditch fingertip saves. Twice Bray cleared of the line. On 73 minutes Bray scored. An excellent ball to the left corner flag was whipped back across goal and Peter McGlyyn skilfully flicked the ball past the Saints keeper. A couple of narrow squeaks to overcome, but Bray saw the game out to win 1-0. For sheer effort and tenacity against strong opposition this was a well-earned and very welcome win.
A simple matter of walking down the road and getting a DART suburban train back into Dublin.
I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Bray. A very good introduction to Irish football. I particularly liked the atmosphere with a skilled drummer banging out rhythms on the far side and the genuine affection both sets of supporters showed for their teams. I must take in another match sometime.
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