Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Herne Bay Pier (Herne Bay)

Herne Bay Pier is one of a dwindling number of English seaside piers, a fascinating and much loved institution.

It is situated at the Kent seaside resort of Herne Bay, on the South bank of the estuary of the River Thames.

The first pier here, made of timber, was opened in 1832, with a length of 3613 feet. The structure soon deteriorated, however, and the timber was replaced by cast iron in 1839, and incorporated a tramway.

This pier was demoloished in 1871, and replaced by a much shorter structure, 415 feet long, in 1873.

But in 1896, rebuilding took place with a tramway included, and the whole new pier was opened in 1899, with a length of 3787 feet. A Grand Pavilion was added in 1910.

Since then there have been a number of misfortunes. Shops and theatre were destroyed by fire in 1928, the tramway was discontinued in 1939and the pier was fortified and breached during the war.

There was a lot of damage caused by the East Coast floods in 1953, and the pier was regarded as unsafe in 1968 and closed. The Grand Pavilion was destroyed by fire in 1970, and in 1978 the pier head was detached by gales, creating an artificial island.

The pier`s future remains unsure.

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