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GARTH POINT PIER, BANGOR

Site Details

© Copyright and database right 2020. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey licence number 0100022206

NPRN 34150

Map Reference SH57SE

Grid Reference SH5841573254

Unitary (Local) Authority Gwynedd

Old County Caernarfonshire

Community Bangor

Type of Site PLEASURE PIER

Broad Class MARITIME, RECREATIONAL

Period Post Medieval

Site Description Stretching over 460m across the Menai Straits, Garth Point Pier is the longest surviving pier in Wales. Originally built for pleasure steamers, it was constructed in steel and cast-iron in 1896 by J.J. Webster of London and the contractor was Alfred Thorne of London. It was damaged by a ship in 1914 and was closed in 1971, but re-opened in 1987 after restoration. It has never had amusement buildings but two hindu kiosks stand at the entrance with barley sugar twisted ironwork between. The deck widens four times for octagonal kiosks with tent and onion-dome roofs before an ampler widening and an ornate pavilion once serving the landing stage.

Source: Haslam, Orbach and Voelcker (2009), The Buildings of Wales: Gwynedd. Pevsner Architectural Guide, page 246.

RCAHMW, October 2009.

Extract from the report of the opening of Garth Pier, The North Wales Express 15 May 1896:

'[opened by the Right Hon. Lord Penrhyn, May 14th, 1896.] The new pier is an iron and steel structure, about 1550 feet long, running nearly parallel with the present low water landing slip, and about 100 feet to the west of it. It consists of cast iron screw piles and columns, supporting a steel superstructure of girders and steel joists, carrying the pitch- pine deck planks.

The clear width of the pier is 24 feet, except at four places, where it is opened out to 55 feet to receive the eight ornamental kiosks; at the head it is opened out still wide, and the two extreme corners are made circular to receive the covered circular wind-screens or shelters. Beyond the fixed portion of the landing stage is a floating stage 80 feet long and 18 feet wide, which is kept in position by greenheart timber dolphins, and is approached from the pier by a bowstring girder bridge 120 feet span, and 7 feet 6 inches clear width, landing steps tor pleasure boats are fixed at each side of the head, and at two of the dusters of the piles, at one-thirds and two-thirds of the length of the pier respectively.

Ornamental cast-iron railings with seats at convenient intervals are fixed at the sides of the pier, and are surmounted by ornamental gas lamps where necessary. Handsome gates are fixed at the entrance, to the pier on either side of the ornamental pay boxes, the city arms being worked in the design of the gates. A flight of steps from the old landing slip to the new pier has been fixed near to the entrance, and tram rails, three feet gauge, run the entire length of the pier, on to the landing stage, for the easy carrying of light merchandise. The whole structure is designed to carry cart traffic if necessary. An ornamental steel lighthouse is fixed on the timber dolphin to carry the red light required by the Corporation of Trinity House. '

The pier deteriorated in the 1960s and it closed to the public in 1971. In 1982 a restoration project was started and the pier reopened to the public in 1988. It is now considered to be one of Britain’s most unspoilt Victorian piers. (ref: historypoints.org).

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