National Piers Society
History of Ryde Pier

After the passing of a parliamentary act in 1812, plans were drawn up by John Kent of Southampton. Work commenced on 29th July 1813, and the 1740 foot pier opened on 26th July 1814. It was extended in 1824 to 2040 feet and the pier-head was enlarged in 1827. Further extensions in 1833 took it to 2250 feet while the pier-head was expanded again in 1842 and 1856-60. A tramway pier which opened on August 29th 1864 was added alongside. The railway pier, adjacent to this, opened on July 12 1880.

A concert pavilion was constructed at the pier-head in 1895, and from then until 1911, the wooden piles were gradually replaced with iron. The lifeboat station closed in 1922 and, in June 1924, the Southern Railway took over the pier. In the early 1930s the pier was rebuilt in concrete. After the Second World War, the pavilion concert hall was used as a ballroom.

In 1969, the tramway closed and the pier was partly dismantled, leaving gaps between the promenade and railway piers.

In December 1976, a five year re-planking operation was completed. In the early 1980s, a covered waiting area replacing the Victorian waiting rooms, was constructed on the pier-head. More parking spaces were also provided.

Trains still leave from the pier-head and ferries maintain a regular service from this 2305 foot pier to Portsmouth harbour.

In August 2010, the pier was closed to vehicles after the structure failed a routine maintenance check. Wightlink then announced that car drivers would have to pay towards repairs to Ryde pier with the re-introduction of a charge for vehicles using the pier. And the company said that the pier would remain shut to vehicles until March 2011.

In July 2012, a car collided with the railings of the pier causing £10,000 worth of damage.

In April 2013, Wightlink, the pier owners, organised a special Party on the Pier to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the laying of the pierís foundation stone. A calm, sunny day saw hundreds attend the event which delved back into musical history.

The following month, a small section of the 3m long gangway at the pier's main berth collapsed into the sea as it was being retracted following a ferry service. No-one was injured but the main berth had to be taken out of service for repairs.

Note: See also Ryde Victoria Pier in the Lost Piers section

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Pier Statistics
 
Length Opened Status Owner
Initially 1740ft now 2305ft (703m) 1814 Grade II Wightlink Ltd

Pier News
Feb 2014 - Weather causes suspension of trains to Pier Head
Dec 2013 - Island commuters meet Wightlink managers
See Pier Newslinks Archive for earlier stories
Pier Gallery
Flickr gallery of images of Ryde Pier
Simplon Postcards of Ryde Pier
Disused Railways webpage on Ryder Pier Tramway
Google search for all images of Ryde Pier
Pier Movies
Lots of YouTube video clips of Ryde Pier
Pier Weblinks
Wikipedia entry for Ryde Pier
The Heritage Trail webpage on Ryde Pier  
IOW Historic Postcards webpages onr Ryde Pier
BBC H2G2 webpage on Ryde Pier
Trip Advisor Reviews  
Pier Webcam
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Pier Weather

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