Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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St. Anne's Pier

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at St-Anne's-on-Sea, Lancashire

Engineers inspected the site in 1879, and construction began in 1880. The architect was Alfred Dowson.The pier is constructed of cast iron columns and lattice girders with wooden decking and intricate decorative iron-work on the deck. The columns were sunk to a depth of 50 feet (15 m). The original structure was 914 feet (279 m) long and 19 feet (5.8 m) wide. It included a band kiosk built of glass and iron. Construction cost £18,000 and took more than five years. The pier was opened by Frederick Stanley on 15 June 1885, in a ceremony attended by local dignitaries, school children, the Preston Militia band, and the Order of Mechanics. The opening featured the launch of a lifeboat named the Laura Janet, whose crew was lost the following year in the Southport and St Anne's lifeboats disaster.

1891 A wooden landing jetty at the end of the pier was extended, in an L shape, by engineering and architecture firm Garlick and Sykes. The new iron extension was three storeys high and measured 120 feet (37 m) long by 90 feet (27 m) wide. After its addition, the pier was 945 feet (288 m) in length. The jetty was used for steamer services from Blackpool and Liverpool. The passing of the Ribble Navigation and Preston Dock Act of 1883 led to dredging of the river channels to improve access to Preston Dock. These changes to the estuary meant that the pier was eventually left on dry land, ruining the resort's steamer trade.

1899 A new entrance building was constructed to a design by J. D. Harker. This was built in the Mock Tudor style of red brick with imitation timber framing.

1901 Work began to enlarge the pier and add a Moorish-style pavilion. It had a seating capacity of 920 and measured 84 feet (26 m) by 56 feet (17 m). The width of the pier was increased to 34 feet (10 m). These additions were also undertaken by Garlick and Sykes and opened on 2 April 1904.

1910 Further additions included the Floral Hall, adjacent to the Moorish Pavilion at the seaward end. The hall—a winter garden and concert hall—had a seating capacity of 850; it was built of steel and plate glass to a design by Arnold England.


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