Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Commercial Pier (Weymouth)

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

It is situated at Weymouth on the South coast, pointing out into the English Channel.

It is sometimes claimed that the first pier at Weymouth was built in 1812.

The present structure, however, was built in 1840 as an extension to the esplanade, and was known as the Pile Pier.

When the railway arrived in Weymouth, it continued to a station at the pier entrance. Trains continued to run to here, through the streets, until 1994. The pier was lengthened in 1860, and the new Pier Head became the departure point for steamers to the Channel Islands.

A new Pier Pavilion was built on reclaimed land beside the existing pier in 1908, and there were further developments to handle more vessels, opening in 1933.

During the Second World War, the Pier Pavilion was closed to the public, but used for a while as shelter for Belgian refugees. It reopened in 1950, but burned down in 1954.

The new Pavilion Theatre was opened on the same site in 1960, and is now known as the Alexandra Garden Theatre.

There are today extensive plans for redeveloment.

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