From Academic Kids

A pier in LillebŠlt, Denmark
A pier in LillebŠlt, Denmark

A pier was originally a raised walkway over water that is supported by piles or pillars, as opposed to a quay or wharf. The original function was to provide access to the water either for loading and unloading facities for boats or for ritual purposes. Today the most common form of pier is the industrial pier which can be found at ports and marinas throught the world.

There are also piers in many other towns throughout the world, including Scheveningen and Blankenberge. A pier may be open air, closed, or partly open, partly closed. Sometimes a pier has two decks.


Piers in the UK

In the 19C cast and wrought iron piers were built for promanading, berthing of passenger ferries and general recreational use. There are many of these in the United Kingdom, some of remarkable architectural merit, and in that country the unqualified term 'pier' almost invariably refers to such a structure.

Piers were found in all fashionable seaside towns during the Victorian era, and are still retained by many, although many have been lost.

The most well known piers are perhaps the two at Brighton in East Sussex, while the longest is at Southend-on-Sea at 1.25 miles (2 km) long.

Wigan Pier was the subject of a well known Music Hall joke, since the name was given to a small jetty used to load canal barges - besides which Wigan is miles from the sea. It became world famous after George Orwell entitled a book of social commentary The Road to Wigan Pier. Withernsea pier, England, was demolished in the 1900s after being left just 15 metres long after being struck by ships four times.

In 2002 it was stated in Parliament that there were 80 piers in England that had been designated by the Government as listed buildings. However this conflicts with the total figure of 55 piers given by the National Piers Society.

History of the pier

The first pier in the UK was Ryde Pier, opened in 1814 on the Isle of Wight, to allow ferries to and from the mainland to berth. It is still used for this purpose today.

List of piers and locations with piers


Missing image
The pier at Clacton-on-sea


Rest of the world

 Longest wooden pier in Europe - 450 meter from bank, 650 whole
Sopot Longest wooden pier in Europe - 450 meter from bank, 650 whole
Missing image
Pier at Cerro Azul, Peru
130m long pier in Brzezno, Poland
130m long pier in Brzezno, Poland

See also

External link

nl:Pier pl:Molo


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