HASTINGS PIER

Overview

Heritage Category:
Listed Building
Grade:
II
List Entry Number:
1192411
Date first listed:
14-Sep-1976
Statutory Address:
HASTINGS PIER, WHITE ROCK

Map

Ordnance survey map of HASTINGS PIER
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

Statutory Address:
HASTINGS PIER, WHITE ROCK

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County:
East Sussex
District:
Hastings (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TQ 81159 09061

Details

This list entry was subject to a Minor Enhancement on 04/03/2019

TQ 8109 SW 12/587 TQ 8109 23/587 5204

WHITE ROCK

Hastings Pier

II

Pier. Built between 1869 and 1872 by Laidlaw and Son of Glasgow to the designs of Eugenius Birch (1818-1884), engineer. The pier buildings were continuously altered throughout the C20. A fire in 2010 destroyed most of the superstructure and the pier decking and buildings were restored and designed by the architectural practice dRMM between 2013 and 2016.

HISTORY

Seaside resorts first emerged in the C18 as rival to inland spas, and became increasingly accessible to greater volumes of visitors after the coming of the railways in the mid-C19. The seaside's most characteristic buildings were piers, established from the beginning of the C19 to provide landings for steam ferries. They soon became used for strolling, or promenading, and later examples were built on a larger scale to accommodate entertainment buildings. By 1914, more than 100 pleasure piers were located around the UK coast.

Hastings Pier was constructed between 1869 and 1872 to the designs of the noted Victorian engineer Eugenius Birch (1818-1884) and built by Laidlaw and Son of Glasgow at a cost of £23,250. On its opening, on the first ever August Bank Holiday in 1872, it was dubbed the ‘Peerless Pier’ and was among the first iron piers constructed purely as a tourist destination. It included a pavilion at the seaward end capable of seating up to 2,000 people. In 1885 a landing stage was added to the seaward end of the pier and additional buildings at the landward end of the pier were built. These included a shooting and slot machine gallery in 1910-1911, and a rifle range and bowling alley in 1912. In 1913 the council purchased this end of the pier to develop new arcades, shops and a tea room. The original pavilion was destroyed by fire in 1917 and replaced in 1922 by The Ballroom, which became a gathering place for generations of pleasure-seekers and later a noted music venue from the 1960s onward.

Following its closure during the Second World War, when it suffered minor bomb damage, the pier was renovated with the West View and East View solaria added in 1951 and 1956 respectively. In 1966 a domed building (known as the Triodome) was constructed at the approach to the pier on the site of an earlier bandstand which was originally flanked by a pair of curved pavilions dating from the early C20. These pavilions were retained. The Triodome housed an embroidery to mark the 900th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings. In 1969 it was converted into an amusement arcade and the pavilions became kiosks and shops.

In 1993 the pier was damaged in a storm, putting its future into doubt due to the costs of refurbishment. The result was a series of closures and re-openings culminating in a major fire on 5 October 2010 which destroyed most of the superstructure, leaving the western entrance pavilion as the only surviving building. Public and community funding was obtained by the Hastings Pier and White Rock Trust (HPWRT), a local campaign group, to rebuild the pier to designs by the architectural practice dRMM. This involved the conservation or replacement of the supporting cast iron columns, replacement of virtually all the timber decking with West African ekki hardwood, restoration of the surviving curved pavilion (from the early C20 pair) and the construction of a cross-laminated visitor centre, re-using timber that survived the fire. Hastings pier reopened on 21 May 2016 and in 2017 was awarded both an RIBA National Award and the Stirling Prize, the UK’s top architectural award.

DESCRIPTION

Cast iron columns on screw piles, with a lattice girder framework supporting a wooden deck. It has since been widened and has a modern superstructure.

Legacy

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
294150
Legacy System:
LBS

Legal

This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Reference: IOE01/02870/25
Rights: Copyright IoE Peter Fuller. Source Historic England Archive
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