British Seaside Piers – History from 1391

By: Paul hussey

As an Island race and surrounded by water I thought as English Seaside Piers are popular with us Brits I thought I would tell the history of Piers and list all the English Piers with dates of construction. There have been very few piers built since the First World War. However, due to the precarious nature of piers – they are often prey to fires, collisions, and storm damage. Today several piers have been completely changed in the period from the thirties to the present day.

The oldest Pier in England is in Cramer where there has been a pier or jetty in Cromer, Norfolk, England since 1391. Letters granting the right to levy duties for repairs suggest that attempts at maintenance seem to have gone on until 1580. In 1582, Queen Elizabeth I granted the right to the inhabitants of Cromer to export wheat, barley and malt for the maintenance of their town and towards the rebuilding of the pier.

The oldest cast iron pier in the world is Gravesend Town Pier in Kent which opened in 1834. However, it is not recognised by the National Piers Society as being a seaside pier.

There are still a significant number of piers of architectural merit still standing, although some have been lost.

The most well known piers are perhaps the two at Brighton in East Sussex and the three at Blackpool in Lancashire.

Two piers, Brighton’s now derelict West Pier and Clevedon Pier were Grade 1 listed: Brighton West lost its status after a series of fires and storms. The Birnbeck Pier in Weston-Super-Mare is the only pier in the world that is linked to an island.

The National Piers Society gives a figure of 55 surviving seaside piers in England and Wales.


  • Herne Bay Pier

  • Blackpool Pier

  • Bognor Regis Pier

  • Boscombe Pier

  • Bournemouth Pier

  • Brighton Pier

  • Burnham-on-Sea Pier

  • Clacton Pier

  • Clarence Pier

  • Cleethorpes Pier

  • Clevedon Pier

  • Cromer Pier

  • Deal Pier

  • Eastbourne Pier

  • Felixstowe Pier

  • Fleetwood Pier

  • Great Yarmouth Pier

  • Harwich Pier

  • Hastings Pier

  • Herne Bay Pier

  • Hythe Pier

  • Lowestoft Pier

  • Lytham St Annes Pier

  • New Brighton Pier

  • Paignton Pier

  • Portsmouth Pier

  • Ryde Pier

  • Saltburn-by-the-Sea Pier

  • Sandown Pier

  • Southend-on-Sea Pier

  • Southport Pier

  • South Parade Pier

  • Southsea Pier

  • Southwold Pier

  • Swanage Pier

  • Teignmouth

  • Totland, Isle of Wight Pier

  • Walton on the Naze Pier

  • Weston-super-Mare Pier

  • Weymouth Pier

  • Whitby Pier

  • Wigan Pier

  • Worthing Pier

  • Yarmouth Pier


  • Aberystwyth Pier

  • Bangor Pier

  • Beaumaris Pier

  • Colwyn Bay Pier

  • Llandudno Pier

  • Mumbles Pier

  • Penarth Pier

Isle Of Man

  • Ramsey Pier

In their heyday, there were many pleasure piers across England. These were found in most fashionable seaside resorts during the Victorian era.

Please visit my Funny Animal Art Prints Collection @

My other website is called Directory of British Icons:

The Chinese call Britain ‘The Island of Hero’s’ which I think sums up what we British are all about. We British are inquisitive and competitive and are always looking over the horizon to the next adventure and discovery.

Copyright © 2010 Paul Hussey. All Rights Reserved.

About the Author

My family tree has been traced back to the early Kings of England from the 7th Century AD. I am also a direct descendent of Sir Christopher Wren which has given me an interest in English History and Icons which is great fun to research.

I have recently decided to write articles on my favourite subjects: English Sports, English History, English Icons, English Discoveries and English Inventions.

At present I have written over 100 articles which I call “An Englishman’s Favourite Bits Of England” in various Volumes.

Please visit my Blogs page http://Bloggs.Resourcez.Com where I have listed all my articles to date.

Copyright © 2010 Paul Hussey. All Rights Reserved.

(ArticlesBase SC #3329828)

Article Source: Seaside Piers – History from 1391