Chronology of the West Pier

Construction starts, engineer Eugenius Birch (1818-1884)

1863

Construction starts, engineer Eugenius Birch (1818-1884)

West Pier Opens

1866

Pier opened by Mayor (Henry Martin). Cost £27,000. Length1115 ft. Two square kiosks at entrance; two octagonal kiosks with marinets at centre; four octagonal kiosks at corners of pier head platform. Also on platform: windshields and rotunda screen. Lamp columns decorated with entwined serpents placed around perimeter and lit by gas. Motif said to

Pier Head Widened

1893

The pier head widened and a large pavilion built, to be used first as a 1400 seat concert hall.

Chain Pier Destroyed

1896

Chain Pier (located close to the site of the Palace Pier) destroyed by a storm. Wreckage driven into West Pier causing £6000 of damage. Landing stage constructed to cater for steamer excursions.

Pavilion converted into a theatre with seating for 1000 people

1903

Concert Hall Built

1916

Pier widened further at centre and Concert Hall built. The completion of the Concert Hall marked the end of the half century of building the West Pier. There were no other significant additions after this date although there were many subsequent changes in the use of the pier.

Highest ever recorded figure of 2,074,000 paying visitors

1919

Pier closed for security reasons

1936

D-Day

1943

In readiness for D-Day, anti-personnel devices cleared by Captain Ken Revis and Sargent Gordon Marnoch, of Royal Engineers bomb disposal. Both soldiers survive serious injuries from explosions on the pier. Until his death in 2001, the blinded Ken Revis serves as a West Pier Trust Board member. Blasts also destroys a kiosk which is later replaced by a helter skelter.

Oh, What a Lovely War!

1968

Pier used as location for the film “Oh, What a Lovely War!” directed by Richard Attenborough.

Grade II Listing

1969

AVP seeks permission to demolish the southern end. Pier made Grade II* to protect it.

Entire pier closed to the public for safety reasons

1975

Crown Estate Commissioners sell the pier to the Trust for £100

1983

15th September. Restored root end reopened

1987

November. The National Lottery created

1994

HLF approves a grant of £14.2m towards the restoration of the pier

1998

£1.2m Design & Development phase of work begins

2002

European Commission clears legal challenge and HLF reactivates project, £1.2m Design & Development phase of work begins. Extensive public consultation takes place on BWPT/St Modwen enabling development proposals.

Partial collapses of Concert Hall

2003

29th Dec/20th Jan partial collapses of Concert Hall. 26th Feb Brighton & Hove City Council grants planning permission for BWPT/St Modwen enabling development proposals. Weeks away from the start of the pier’s restoration in March and May arson attacks destroy the Pavilion and Concert Hall.

HLF withdraws funding

2004

HLF withdraws its funding for the restoration project.

Marks Barfield Architects proposes i360 for West Pier root end

2005

British Airways i360’s contemporary design and advanced technology, together with the reinstatement of the pier’s tollbooths in their original positions provide a perfect celebration of the site’s heritage whilst also looking to the future. A vertical pier which doesn’t preclude the possibility of a new sea-based West Pier in the future.

Planning permission granted for i360

2006

11th October 2006, unanimous approval for i360 scheme

Construction of i360 begins

2014

2014 After years of frustrating delay owing to the global financial downturn, i360 funding finally in place. Construction of the new attraction began in June

British Airways i360 Opens

2016

4th August Brighton & Hove’s new attraction opens to the public

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This