Brighton Palace Pier

(Click on the image for a large view)

The Palace Pier,  is a Grade II listed pleasure pier in Brighton, England. Opening in 1899, it was the third pier to be constructed in Brighton after the Royal Suspension Chain Pier and the West Pier, but is now the only one still in operation.

The Pier was intended as a replacement for the Chain Pier, which collapsed in 1896 during construction. It quickly became popular, and had become a frequently visited theatre and entertainment venue by 1911. Aside from closures owing to war, it continued to hold regular entertainment up to the 1970s. The theatre was damaged in 1973 and following a buy-out was demolished in 1986, changing the pier’s character from seaside entertainment to an amusement park, with various fairground rides and roller coasters.

For many years, The Palace Pier was in competition with The West Pier, built on the border with Hove in 1866. However, the West Pier was closed to the public in 1975 and fell into disrepair. It gradually collapsed during storms in late 2002, and two separate fires through arson in March and May 2003 destroyed most of the remaining structure, leading to English Heritage declaring it beyond repair. Ironically the remains of the West Pier have increase in popularity enormously in recent years, due to the presence of multitudes of starlings, so the rivalry remains!