Piers

Predominantly constructed during the 19th Century in the context of expanding Victorian seaside resorts and railways, British piers were often erected as landing docks for pleasure steamers and other sea craft. Growing to accommodate the needs of day-trippers escaping the smog of the city, engineers began to incorporate bandstands, cafes and music halls into their designs, embracing the growing notion of ‘pleasure seeking’ by the seaside.

At the turn of the century the British coastline boasted over 100 piers, some modest and functional, others elegant, exotic Victorian structures thrusting out into the sea. Now under half remain, the others destroyed by fierce weather and fires, with many dismantled during the 2nd World War to prevent German landings. Britain’s piers have become cultural landmarks, tracing history, national identity and economic fortunes from Victorian industrialism to the post-war boom, and finally to the recent economic downturn and a gradual re-awakening of our appreciation of these cultural and historic landmarks.

Below is a comprehensive gallery of Britain’s remaining pleasure piers, along with some ‘lost piers’, each illustrated with one of Simon’s photographs from the Pierdom series, a potted history and related public submissions.

 

Aberystwyth Royal Pier, Mid Wales

Bangor Garth Pier, North Wales

Beaumaris Pier, North Wales

Blackpool Central Pier, Lancashire

Blackpool North Pier, Lancashire

Blackpool South Pier, Lancashire

Bognor Regis Pier, West Sussex

Boscombe Pier, Dorset

Bournemouth Pier, Dorset

Brighton Palace Pier, East Sussex

Brighton West Pier, East Sussex (Lost Pier)

Burnham-on-Sea Pier, Somerset

Clacton-on-Sea Pier, Essex

Cleethorpes Pier, North East Lincolnshire

Clevedon Pier, Somerset

Colwyn Bay Victoria Pier, North Wales

Cromer Pier, Norfolk

Deal Pier, Kent

Douglas Pier, Isle of Man (Lost Pier)

Dunoon Pier, Scotland

Eastbourne Pier, East Sussex

Falmouth Prince of Wales Pier, Cornwall

Felixstowe Pier, Suffolk

Fleetwood Victoria Pier, Lancashire (Lost Pier)

Gravesend Town Pier, Kent

Great Yarmouth Britannia Pier, Norfolk

Great Yarmouth Wellington Pier, Norfolk

Harwich Ha’penny Pier, Essex

Hastings Pier, East Sussex

Herne Bay Pier, Kent

Hythe Pier, Hampshire

Llandudno Pier, North Wales

Lowestoft Claremont Pier, Suffolk

Lowestoft South Pier, Suffolk

Margate Jetty, Kent (Lost Pier)

Mumbles Pier, South Wales

Paignton Pier, Devon

Penarth Pier, South Wales

Ramsey Queens Pier, Isle of Man

Redcar Pier, Middlesbrough (Lost Pier)

Rothesay Pier, Isle of Bute

Ryde Pier, Isle of Wight

St Annes Pier, Lancashire

Saltburn Pier, North Yorkshire

Sandown Culver Pier, Isle of Wight

Shanklin Pier, Isle of Wight (Lost Pier)

Skegness Pier, Lincolnshire

Southampton Royal Pier, Hampshire

Southend-on-Sea Pier, Essex

Southport Pier, Merseyside

Southsea Clarence Pier, Hampshire

Southsea South Parade Pier, Hampshire

Southwold Pier, Suffolk

Swanage Pier, Dorset

Teignmouth Grand Pier, Devon

Torquay Princess Pier, Devon

Totland Bay Pier, Isle of Wight

Walton-on-the-Naze Pier, Essex

Weston-Super-Mare Birnbeck Pier, Somerset

Weston-Super-Mare Grand Pier, Somerset

Weymouth Pier Bandstand, Dorset

Weymouth Pleasure Pier, Dorset

Worthing Pier, West Sussex

Yarmouth Pier, Isle of Wight

KEY: white circle = pier & black square = venue