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Hastings Pier
Hastings, East Sussex
Hastings Pier
associated engineer
Eugenius Birch
date  1869 - 1872
era  Victorian  |  category  Pier, seaside  |  reference  TQ810091
photo  Hastings Pier entrance, 1911
This pier is a good example of the collaboration between the engineer Eugenius Birch and the contractor Richard Laidlaw & Son of Glasgow.
Hastings Pier was built to a length of 910ft. Its timber deck is supported by columns on cast iron screw piles in rows of three, the outer columns raking. The columns support lattice girders and the deck.
The width of the pier varies from 45ft along the neck to 190ft at the seaward pierhead and 130ft at the landward end. The widening at the landward end is supported entirely on vertical columns. To reduce possible damage from high seas, the entrance section was forked in plan to create a large open area to allow heavy seas to break upwards without destroying the deck.
The pier was opened in 1872 by Earl Granville, Warden of the Cinque Ports. In 1898, it was reported that the pier made a net profit of 3,612. 3s. 9d. and an 18% dividend was paid to shareholders. The pier continued to be profitable until at least the 1970s, when it was owned by the Hastings Pier Company.
The original pierhead pavilion had a capacity of 2,000 persons but burned down in 1917 and was replaced with a horizontally boarded structure. The original octagonal kiosk at the entrance had an ogee roof (see photo).
The pier neck had covered walkways, two theatres, a zoo and amusement arcades but was vulgarised in later years by alterations and additions.
Hasting Pier was refurbished in 2002 with finance from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Contractor: Richard Laidlow & Son
Research: PD
"Historic Structures: Protecting our Piers"
by D. Bateman
The Structural Engineer, Vol 77, No 13
reference sources   SPSurvSPd

Hastings Pier