Wayne Manor is a huge mansion across the river from Gotham City in the Palisades that serves as the personal residence of the wealthy Wayne Family, including Bruce Wayne.
Wayne Manor began as the simple home of railroad financier Jerome K. Van Derm in 1855. Soon after, Van Derm had to give up the property to the brothers Solomon and Zebediah Wayne in 1858. Solomon, a judge, worked hard to preserve equality in Gotham City, saying that the city should be a "fortress against vice and iniquity". With the manor's fortune secured when his son Alan married Van Derm's daughter Catherine, Solomon expanded Wayne Manor to its present size, acting as the first Wayne to turn it into a mansion. Alan Wayne later used it as part of the Underground Railroad, sheltering escaped slaves in the bat-infested caverns beneath the manor as they fled north to Canada. the manor has been home to six generations of Waynes.
Last generation that lived here were Thomas Wayne, his wife Martha and their son Bruce. Alfred Pennyworth served as their butler, and Bruce's childhood best friend Rachel Dawes lived on the estate with her mother as its housekeeper. One day, while playing in the manor's garden with Rachel, Bruce fell down the old well into the caverns below. There, he faced what would become both his greatest fear and most valuable ally: the bat. Frightened out of his wits, he was comforted by his father being lowered on a rope anchored by Alfred, the two adults having been alerted to Bruce's fall by Rachel. That night, Bruce had a nightmare about the bats, causing his father to come soothe him, explaining to Bruce, "They attacked you because they were afraid of you. All creatures feel fear, especially the scary ones." It would be the last time that Thomas and Martha Wayne left the house alive. After the murder of his parents at the hands of mugger Joe Chill, Bruce felt guilty beyond imagination. As he remorsefully told Alfred, "It was my fault, I made them leave the theater. If I hadn't gotten scared..." Alfred, however, comforted Bruce, telling him, "It was him, and him alone".
Years later, when Bruce returned to the manor before Chill's hearing, Alfred told him he had prepared the master bedroom, but he replied that he'd rather stay in his own room. When Alfred tried explaining that this was his home, Bruce snapped angrily, "This is my father's house, and now that he's dead, it's a mausoleum! If I ever have my way, I'll tear the damn thing down, brick by brick!" Little did Bruce know that he would have that accomplished for him in the future.
Batman Begins Edit
Bruce later returned to the manor after training with the League of Shadows, and was informed by Alfred that William Earle had become head of Wayne Enterprises and declared Bruce dead, attempting to gain control of his shares of the company's stocks. Earle had also turned the company into an arms manufacturer, accepting contracts from military projects. While reading the paper in the living room about Gotham's current state, Bruce saw a bat flying in the corner near the ceiling. It was at that moment that Bruce realized that being afraid of a bat was like being afraid of a ghost, a wraith. Gathering the proper equipment from the Enterprises under the authority of Lucius Fox, Bruce cleared the weeds blocking the well he had fallen down as a child, and ventured into the caverns. There, he was swarmed by bats, but this time, he realized there was nothing to be afraid of. Thus, the caverns below became the Batcave.
During Bruce's 30th birthday party at the manor, Bruce received an unexpected guest--Henri Ducard, his mentor in the League of Shadows, who revealed himself to be the League's leader, Ra's al Ghul. Faking a drunken rant to protect the guests and make them leave, Bruce was left alone with Ra's and warriors of the League as they began a fire in the manor, and Ra's explained his plan: the Scarecrow's fear toxin was made from the League's blue poppies, and using this toxin, the League would poison the entire city. The compound had already spread throughout the city via the water, and all that was left was to turn it into gas by using the city's monorail train system to transport the microwave emitter stolen from Wayne Enterprises into Gotham's main hub, located beneath the Wayne Enterprises building, covering the entire city in poison. As Bruce attempted to fight him off, Ra's warned Bruce that he failed to mind his surroundings, and a pile of burning debris fell on the young billionaire. Ra's then left Bruce to burn, with a guard making sure that none came out alive. However, ever-loyal Alfred snuck up behind the ninja and knocked him out with a golf club, rescuing Bruce and getting them both into the secret elevator into the Batcave just in time.
After finally stopping the League, Bruce and Alfred returned to the ruins of the manor, with Alfred supervising construction workers. Rachel arrived at the scene, and told Bruce that his real face is the one that criminals fear, and that the man she loved never really came back, but one day, when Batman is no longer needed, she might see him again. When she left, Alfred told Bruce that they might be able to "improve the foundation", meaning the South-East corner, where the Batcave was located.
The Dark Knight Edit
Wayne Manor was still being rebuilt at this time, so Bruce temporarily resided at his family penthouse and set up his Batcave in a hidden bunker beneath a shipping container at Wayne Enterprises' dockyard, using it as his base of operations during his conflict for Gotham's soul with the Joker, which resulted in the deaths of many of the city's anti-crime and corruption officials, including Rachel's. Hwever, when the Joker seemed to have won by corrupting the famed district attorney Harvey Dent into undoing his work against the city' organized crime through anarchy, Batman took the blame for the crimes Harvey committed in order to help Police Commissioner James Gordon save the DA's image as a hero, then evaded getting captured by the police for the next eight years.
The Dark Knight Rises Edit
When the manor was completely rebuilt, Bruce was once again residing there, sealed off in the East wing of the mansion and becoming a recluse after the chaos caused by the Joker that resulted in Rachel's death. During the eighth anniversary of the Harvey's death, a day where Gotham celebrated an act dedicated to Harvey himself which put the majority of criminals in Blackgate Prison, the Wayne Foundation hosted a charity event at the manor. Bruce watched from the manor and skipped participating in the celebrations. As this was happening a maid, later to be revealed as cat-burglar Selina Kyle, was stealing Bruce's mother's pearl necklace from his private quarters. Bruce snuck up behind and confronted her, but she overpowered him and escaped with the necklace and congressman Byron Gilly.
During an investigation of the safe, Bruce discovered that the real target was not the necklace, but rather his fingerprints, which his business rival John Daggett was planning to use in an action that will bankrupt Wayne Enterprises. He returned to the Batcave for the first time in years and ran an analysis, only to be confronted by Alfred who asked him to return to life. A few days later, a once-orphaned patrol officer named John Blake visited the manor asking to speak with Bruce (who he knew was Batman) and tell him about the attack on Gordon carried out by Bane in order to persuade him to return as Batman. The threat Bane represented on the city as a former member of the League of Shadows eventually convinced Bruce to do so, but this prompted Alfred to leave him alone in the manor in order to dissuade him. Meanwhile, Wayne Enterprises went bankrupt, but Bruce was allowed to keep the manor. That night, Miranda Tate (secretly Ra's al Ghul's daughter Talia) visited Bruce in his manor, and the two shared an intimate night. Bruce left afterwards to don his armor and fight Bane when the militant took over the city using a nuclear bomb from the Wayne Enterprises fusion reactor and a resignation speech written by Gordon exposing the cover-up of Harvey's crimes. The young billionaire would never return to Wayne Manor afterwards.