National Piers Society
History of Hornsea Pier

In 1865, Joseph Wade founded the Hornsea Pier Company. However, by 1871, apart from sinking ten piles, no work had taken place. Wade formed a new company in 1873.

A pier was also planned by Pierre du Gillon who had acquired the land to build a pier in 1873. He obtained a Board of Trade order in 1876 for a 2454 foot pier with a tramway. In June 1877, the House of Commons passed both pier bills and Hornsea, a town with a population of just 1500, seemed destined to have two piers. But by April 1879, du Gillon's company was bankrupt and Wade's pier, designed by Eugenius Birch to a length of 1072 feet was completed in May 1880. However, the pier did not open immediately due to a dispute between the pier company and Birch, who had not been paid.

Further financial problems forced the pier into receivership following the 1880 AGM. Additionally, on 28th October 1880, the 'Earl of Derby' collided with the pier, destroying the pier-head and part of the main structure, reducing the pier's length to 750 feet. The pier deteriorated from this date, only opening on Regatta days between 1885 and 1896.

It was demolished in 1897. The entrance building continued in use as an amusement arcade until the late 1920s.


  Pier Statistics
Length Opened Lost Owner
1072ft 1880 1897 Hornsea Pier Company
Pier Gallery
Victorian Glass Slide of Hornsea Pier (BBC)
Pier Weblinks
Wikipedia entry for Hornsea