Hastings Pier is an iconic landmark which has a rich history and has undergone significant transformations over the years.
The Pier was originally opened to the public in 1872, designed by Eugenius Birch, a renowned Victorian pier designer. The original pier featured a pavilion, a concert hall, a landing stage for steamers and various entertainments. It quickly became a popular attraction, drawing visitors from near and far.
However, the pier faced several challenges throughout its history. It was severely damaged by a fire in 1917, which led to the reconstruction of the pavilion. During World War II, the pier was sectioned off to prevent enemy landings. In 1944, a floating pontoon was attached to the pier to aid in the embarkation of troops for the D-Day landings.
In recent years, the pier faced further setbacks. It was closed to the public in 2006 due to safety concerns and was then ravaged by a devastating fire in 2010, leaving only a skeleton of its structure behind.
Following the fire, efforts were made to restore and revitalize Hastings Pier. A community-led campaign raised funds, and in 2016, the reconstructed Hastings Pier was reopened to the public. It was designed by architecture firm dRMM, with a focus on sustainability and community use.
Today, Hastings Pier serves as a multifunctional public space that hosts a variety of activities and events. It features an open deck area with stunning views of the English Channel, providing a place for leisurely strolls and enjoying the seaside ambiance. The pier also includes a café, a visitor center, and spaces for exhibitions and performances.
The restored pier has become a symbol of community resilience and engagement. It is owned and operated by a charitable organization, and its management involves local volunteers and community members. The pier continues to be an important gathering place, hosting concerts, festivals, markets, and other cultural events throughout the year.
Hastings Pier stands as a testament to the determination and dedication of the local community, who worked tirelessly to restore and rejuvenate this historic landmark, ensuring its place as a vibrant attraction in Hastings.