Birnbeck pier

Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, UK


Birnbeck pier, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset

Birnbeck Pier is unusual in that it links the mainland with Birnbeck Island, a 1.2 hectares (12,000 m2) rocky island. The pier has been closed to the public since 1994.

The grade II* listed pier was designed by Eugenius Birch and opened in 1867. The gothic toll house and pierhead buildings were designed by local architect Hans Price.

The main pier is 1,150 feet (351 m) long and 20 feet (6 m) wide. As it has abutments at either end, one on the mainland and one on Birnbeck Island. The construction is more like a bridge than other traditional pleasure piers. A landing jetty extended on the west side of the island to allow steamers to bring day trippers to Weston-super-Mare from ports on both the English and Welsh side of the Bristol Channel.

The pier opened on 6 June 1867, Cecil Hugh Pigot-Smyth again being the host of the ceremony, the town taking a holiday and holding a banquet in the Town Hall. The toll to walk on the pier was 1d, but this was quickly raised to 2d, the maximum allowed by Act of Parliament; 120,000 people paid the toll in the first three months.

A new wooden northern jetty was added in 1872 which allowed the removal of the original western landing place. Another jetty was added on the south west corner in 1898 which reached deep water even at low tide, thus allowing steamers to use the pier at all states of the tide. This was damaged in a gale in 1903, rebuilt in 1909 but closed in 1916. It was finally removed in 1923. The northern jetty had also been damaged in the 1903 storm but was replaced by the present steel structure in 1905.

Article taken from wikipedia.

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