Eastbourne Pier timeline showing the historical and important events in the history of Eastbourne's pier.

Historical Important Events of Eastbourne Pier


Short History of Eastbourne Pier


1865 The Eastbourne Pier Company Ltd was formed.


1866 The first pile was driven on April 18th 1866.


1870 13th June Lord Edward Cavendish officially opened the pier, designed by Eugenius Birch.


1872 work on the 1000-foot pier, landing stage, kiosk and windbreak was finally completed.


1877 A storm washed away the shoreward end on New Year’s Day. It was rebuilt at a higher level.


1888 The first 400-seat theatre was constructed for just £250 at the seaward end. It was replaced by a 1000-seat theatre, bar, camera obscura and pier office complex in 1899-1901.


1893 A new landing stage was constructed.


1901 Two saloons mid-way along the pier were built.


1912 New entrance buildings were added.


1925 A 900-seat music pavilion was constructed at the shoreward end. This was used as a ballroom (known as the Blue room) before becoming an amusement arcade. Built in keeping with the rest of the pier in Victorian style.


1940 Decking was removed for the duration of the war and machine guns were installed in the pier theatre.


1951 A new kidney-shaped entrance building was constructed.


1968 Trust House Forte bought the pier.


1970 The theatre was destroyed by fire in January. It was rebuilt as a ‘Dixieland’ showbar and was used for discos and cabaret.


1985 A £250,000 facelift, gave the pier a major new arcade.


1987 Hurricane damage in October wrecked the landing stage.


1991 The Duke of Devonshire opened a new £500,000 entrance building on 15th June.


1997 This attractive pier has many gift shops, bars and restaurants. A charity raft race is held each summer. The pier is illuminated at night and was voted ‘Pier of the Year’ in 1997 by members of the National Piers Society.


2003 The refurbished camera obscurer was opened to the public.


2009 A review of the site by English Heritage resulted in the pier being upgraded from Grade II to Grade II* in May.


2009 In June, the pier was put up for sale by its owners, Six Piers Ltd, but in October was taken off the market after a highly successful summer season.


2010 Then in May, a £250,000 redevelopment plan commenced to refurbish the Ocean Suite and reinstate its terrace to give visitors 360-degree sea views and the new Ocean Suite opened in July.


2014 In July the pier suffered a major fire to the blue room, which was built in 1925, It was completely burnt to the ground with only the iron frame remaining. The fire was contained and didn’t reach the main entrance or the middle saloons, which are now the oldest remaining parts of the pier, built in 1901. The pier remains closed at this time, while investigations are underway as to how the fire started. The peoples of Eastbourne view the pier as part of there own heritage and focal point of the town and are determined to see it brought back to its original outstanding beauty.


2014 August Work is underway for the reconstruction of Eastbourne Pier.

2015 The pier is sold to Sheikh Abid Gulzar, The Blue room Grade II listed building, is not rebuilt and instead a flat open wooden walkway is put down.

2016/17 All turrets of the Grade II listed building are painted gold, without council approval. 


Please send in any pictures of Eastbourne Pier dated from 1990 backwards.

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