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Blackpool's Seaside Heritage

Front cover for Blackpool's Seaside Heritage

Paperback by Allan Brodie, Matthew Whitfield


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Blackpool is Britain's favourite seaside resort. Each year millions of visitors come to walk on its three piers, ride donkeys, enjoy shows at the Winter Gardens, scream on the thrilling rides at the Pleasure Beach and ride the lift to the top of the Tower. Generations of holidaymakers have stayed in its hotels, lodging houses and bed and breakfasts and all have succumbed to its delectable fish and chips.

Two centuries of tourism has left behind a rich heritage, but Blackpool has also inherited a legacy of social and economic problems, as well as the need for comprehensive new sea defences to protect the heart of the town. In recent years this has led to the transformation of its seafront and to regeneration programmes to try to improve the town, for its visitors and residents.

This book celebrates Blackpool's rich heritage and examines how its colourful past is playing a key part in guaranteeing that it has a bright future.


  • Acknowledgements
  • Foreword by the Chair of English Heritage
  • Introduction
  • Early Blackpool 1750-1840
  • The arrival of the railway 1840-1870
  • Blackpool after 1918
  • Blackpool in the early 21st century
  • Notes
  • References and selected further reading
  • Other titles in the Informed Conservation series
  • Gazetteer

Additional Information

  • Printed Price: £14.99
  • Series: Informed Conservation
  • Publication Status: Completed
  • Format: Paperback
  • Physical Size: 210 x 210 mm
  • Pages: 148
  • Illustration: 116, Colour and Black & White
  • Product Code: 51703
  • ISBN: 9781848021105


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Blackpool's Seaside Heritage

Please click on the gallery images to enlarge.

  • Blackpool’s beach has disappeared at high tide, but the crowds still gather on the sloping sea defences.
  • Central Pier, as it has been known since 1930, was designed by John Isaac Mawson and constructed by Laidlaw’s who had also built Blackpool’s first pier. This Aerofilms photograph was taken in 1920 before the long jetty was removed.
  • The Empress Ballroom, which was built on the site of the original roller-skating rink
  • After World War I the former storage yard to the south of the gasworks was also used for trams, and in 1935 this larger main depot was build on the site
  • The Tower
  • The wheel was 220ft (67m) high, with an axle 41ft (12m) long, and had 30 carriages, each carrying around 30 people who had paid 6d for the experience.  It lasted over 30 years until it was dismantled in 1929.
  • This modern aerial photograph shows clearly how the park’s designers have managed to retain many of the historic structures while creating thrilling new rides
  • The Big One, a thrilling, mile-long ride, has a 235ft-high lift hill that propels the cars around at over 70mph
  • The Casino building of the Pleasure Beach
  • This design means that there was no need for a high sea wall; instead the defences, combined with subtle shaping of grassed banks and lengths of contoured seating, were designed to prevent any overtopping from damaging seafront properties.

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