Llandudno Pier

Llandudno Pier

Llandudno Pier

Date

15 March 2015
Location

Llandudno

SH 78557 83183; 53.33156°N, 3.82509°W

Information

Llandudno’s first pier – a 74m timber-built industrial jetty – was completed in 1858. It was, however, badly damaged in the 1859 ‘Royal Charter’ storm and was later superseded by the current Victorian pleasure pier built by the Llandudno Pier Company, established in 1875. The pleasure pier was designed by architect Charles Henry Driver (1832-1900) and civil engineers James William Brunlees (1816-1892), who served as President of the Institution of Civil Engineers in 1883, and Alexander McKerrow (1837-1920).

With a wooden planked deck and steel superstructure supported by cast-iron piles, the pier was fabricated by Glasgow iron foundry Walter Macfarlane & Co and was completed in two stages. The first, 376m in length, with its entrance at the stone lodge on Happy Valley Road, opened in 1877. An extension spur, running parallel to the shore by the Baths Hotel, which was rebuilt and re-opened as the Grand Hotel in 1902, was added in 1884. This provided a second entrance to the pier from The Parade.

The iron-and-glass Pier Pavilion, which burned down in 1994, was built close to the second pier entrance next to the Baths Hotel and was completed in 1886. A small orchestra, formed when the pier first opened, originally performed at a bandstand at the pier head but later took up residence in the Pier Pavilion.

A deep-water landing stage was added at the pier head in 1891 allowing steam ships to dock there. In addition to local pleasure cruises, services also ran from the pier to Liverpool and the Isle of Man. The landing stage was rebuilt in concrete and steel in 1969 and was eventually closed on safety grounds owing to its deteriorating condition in 2005. In June 2012, however, it was announced that more than £330,000 was being invested in a new landing stage to allow cruise ships to return to the town. £200,000 of the funding was awarded from the tourism fund set up by the owners of Gwynt y Mor offshore wind farm.

On 12 March 2015, Cuerden Leisure, the pier’s current owner, announced that it was selling the pier together with Blackpool’s South and Central piers with a collective asking price of £12.6 million, the individual guide price for Llandudno Pier being £4.5 million.

Llandudno Pier is a Grade II* listed structure and with an overall length of 700m is the longest pier in Wales.

Further Reading

Now and Then V: Llandudno

Llandudno Pier

Llandudno Pier

Deck Arcade

Deck Arcade

Llandudno Pier

Cast-iron balustrade

Deck Arcade

Deck Arcade

Deck Arcade

Deck Arcade

WC

WC

Looking towards the Grand Hotel

Looking towards the Grand Hotel

Benches

Benches

Deck Arcade

Ogee dome of the ‘Deck Arcade’ pier-head kiosk

Looking towards the Little Orme

Looking across Llandudno Bay towards the Little Orme

Looking towards the Deck Arcade

Looking towards the Deck Arcade

Llandudno Pier

Llandudno Pier

Llandudno Pier

Llandudno Pier

The Grand Hotel

The Grand Hotel. The original 1870s’ Baths Hotel was rebuilt and opened as the Grand in 1902.

Llandudno Pier

Llandudno Pier

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15 thoughts on “Llandudno Pier

  1. You’ve forgone your usual abstract compositions and instead captured perfectly the faded decadence of a seaside resort out of season – first class stuff! I love the images of rust weeping through the paint. The description is very interesting…I can’t see the council buying the pier somehow, but who will?

    • Thanks, Iain. Even though out of season, it was fairly busy with folks out for a stroll. A little bit of patience was therefore required to get the more deserted look for some of the shots. And, ah yes, the rust… I can’t resist capturing a little bit of decay.

  2. Superb series. I agree with Ian’s observation about how you so effectively captured the faded decadence of a seaside resort out of season – nostalgia & melancholy wrapped up in the crisp cool blues & white of reality. Very well done.

    • Many thanks indeed! For me the place has a wonderfully somewhat shabby feel, what with the tacky amusements, many closed out of season, and the neglected looking rear of the Grand Hotel. The empty benches and the deserted outdoor seating for the cafe at the pierhead – folks hurriedly passing by, braving the bracing breeze – al added to the atmosphere.

    • Ha ha, thank you, Scott. Although I’m sure they’d prefer a more picture-postcard style of portrayal, rather than my endeavours to depict the grittiness of reality – rust, flaking paint, and all…

  3. Pingback: 2015 Retrospective | GeoTopoi

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