Sandown Culver Pier
The first Sandown Pier Bill was passed by Parliament in 1864 but
work did not begin until 1876 under the supervision of chief
engineer W.Binne. The 360 foot pier opened for the 1879 season.
Following the creation of a new pier company, it was extended to
875 feet in 1895. The pier, complete with new pier-head pavilion,
was re-opened on 17th September that year. Paddle steamers called
at the new landing stage.
Sandown Urban District Council
became owners in 1918 and, following amalgamation with the
neighbouring Shanklin authority, a new 1000 seat, shoreward-end
pavilion was opened on October 23rd 1934. The pier-head pavilion
continued in use as a ballroom.
The pier was sectioned during
the Second World War for defence reasons and the condition of the
landing stage deteriorated. A new concrete 'double-decker' landing
stage was finally opened in 1954.
In 1968, the council decided
to rebuild the pier. Work began in 1971 and included replacing the
old, fire-damaged pavilion. Developments included a new bar and
cafe. The area between the Esplanade and the Pavilion Theatre was
under cover. Lord Mountbatten carried out the re-opening ceremony
on 22nd July 1973.
Sandown Pier Ltd, under George
Peak, bought the pier in 1986 with the provision that South Wight
Council leased back the theatre for ten years. Nearly £1 million
was spent on refurbishment that winter. The theatre was then let
to Isle of Wight (Theatres) Ltd.
A fire caused £2 million of
damage on August Bank Holiday 1989. The pier fully re-opened on
June 18th 1990 (the shoreward end had re-opened within 30 hours of
Although the theatre finally
closed in the 1990s to be replaced with a bowling alley and golf
course, Sandown Pier remains a popular attraction with a
restaurant, shops, kiosk's, amusements, fishing and various
pleasure cruises from the head.