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Bray Town Council Image via Christina Finn

This unusual building is where one town council holds its meetings…

… and it’s above a McDonalds. What other strange, but beautiful buildings around the country house our government get-togethers?

LOCAL AUTHORITIES NEED somewhere to hold their monthly meetings, but Bray Town Council get to debate the issues in this Tudor revival style building built between 1882-3.

The town meetings are held upstairs, under the highly pitched roof, with intricate wooden beams. The hall also houses two huge elaborately carved fireplaces. The windows are decorated with colourful stained glass.

Potholes being discussed upstairs, McChicken sandwich being ordered downstairs

What perhaps is most unusual about this building is that while town council issues are being debated upstairs, others are ordering Big Macs downstairs, as McDonalds set up shop here in the 1990s.

The building is not only recognised as a great place to hold official meetings, but USA Today chose it as one of the top ten McDonalds’ restaurants in the world, with Bray coming in at number five.

According to Buildings of Ireland the building was commissioned by the 11th Earl of Meath’s son and heir, Reginald Brabazon (1841-1929).

The construction is of locally-made red brick, with timber framing. The pitched roof is tiled and has a tall copper-clad tower clock on top. The actual building cost was £5,366, extras such as the clock were an additional £1,000.

This unusual building is where one town council holds its meetings…
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  • Bray Town Hall

  • Bray Town Hall

    exterior view
  • Bray Town Hall

    Town council members in the chamber after their meeting.
  • Bray Town Hall

    Elaborate left fireplace.
  • Bray Town Hall

    Engraving on the fireplace.
  • Bray Town Hall

    Elaborate carving on the fireplace.
  • Bray Town Hall

    Large fireplace
  • Bray Town Hall

    Tiered ceiling with beams.
  • Bray Town Hall

    Stained glass window, with beams showing.
  • Bray Town Hall

    Stained glass window to the rear of the chamber.
  • Bray Town Hall

    Large door entrance to the chamber upstairs.
  • Bray Town Hall

    Downstairs in McDonalds. Vaulted ceiling with beams.
  • Bray Town Hall

    Interior of McDonalds downstairs.

(Photos by Christina Finn)

Are there other town council or county council meetings being held in unusual buildings around the country? Why not tell us in the comments section below.

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