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PENARTH PIER, THE ESPLANADE, PENARTH

Site Details



NPRN 34272

Map Reference ST17SE

Grid Reference ST1895671338

Unitary (Local) Authority The Vale of Glamorgan

Old County Glamorgan

Community Penarth

Type of Site PLEASURE PIER

Broad Class MARITIME, RECREATIONAL

Period 19th Century, Post Medieval

Site Description Building of the pier commenced in 1894 and it was finally opened in February 1895. H.F.Edwards was the engineer. The original structure of cast iron piles with a timber deck and acted as a promenade and landing jetty for the then lucrative steam ship trade across the Bristol Channel. A wooden pavilion was added to the pier-head in 1907. In 1926 the pier was sold to the local council who made further enhancements. A reinforced concrete landing stage was added in 1927\8 and an art deco pavilion in 1929.

The pier’s subsequent history includes three disasters. The first being a fire on August Bank Holiday Monday 1931. The second being a gale in May 1947, when the the 7,000 ton ship PORT ROYAL PARK collided with the structure. The last was in August 1966, when the paddle steamer BRISTOL QUEEN collided with the pier in fog.

A restoration programme was begun in 1994 which included crucial repairs to the rotting substructure at the pier entrance. Further repairs took place in 1996. This involved work on the steelwork, decking and facilities on the main pier and berthing structure. The final stage saw the renovation of the rest of the pier with financial assistance totalling £1.1 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The formal re-opening took place in May 1998 and included a Victorian Fayre, concerts and street entertainment. In 2007, Penarth Arts & Crafts Ltd (PACL) launched a further restoration initiative leading to a HLF grant to develop a feasibility study. The subseqeunt £3.9m refurbishment scheme involves the restoration and redevelopment of the pavilion for use as a cinema, cafe, observatory and multi-purpose community complex. A succesful bid to the HLF provided a further £1.68m in May 2011. In October 2011, Welsh Government provided another £300,000 as part of the Community Facilities and Activities Programme and a further £700,000 from the Community Asset Transfer (CAT) programme.

Sources include:
Cadw Listing description
RCAHMW, 2012, Historic Wales from the Air
RCAHMW, Registry File GL/07/109, Penarth Pier Pavillion Project 2007

WWW resources:
http://www.piers.org.uk/pierpages/NPSpenarth.html
http://www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/enjoying/visit_the_vale/places_to_go/historic/penarth_pier.aspx

RCAHMW, May 2012.

Digital Images

Archive Records