Delighting holidaymakers since 1878, Llandudno Pier projects 2295 feet into the sea
It was built at a time when piers were essential for enticing holidaymakers to seaside resorts. The pier has since been immortalised in the 1952 film The Card, starring Alec Guinness and Petula Clark, which was based on a novel of the same name by Arnold Bennett.
The structure, designed by Charles Henry Driver, opened in August 1877, replacing an earlier, shorter pier that had been supported by 16 wooden piles. Driver’s design is supported by iron columns made by the Elmbank foundry in Glasgow and constructed by Walter McFarlane from the same city. Unusually the pier has two entrances, one on either side of the Grand Hotel. It has been described as a ‘Maharajah’s palace’, with its elaborate decorative ironwork. The Pier Pavilion, which opened in 1886, became the place to go for performances by Jules Rivière's Orchestra, led by the famous French musician.
The earlier pier had been opened by St George’s Harbour and Railway Company in 1858, but was badly damaged in a storm the following year. The Llandudno Pier Company made sure they improved upon their new pier over the years. In 1884 a landwards extension was added, followed in 1891 by a new landing stage. In the 20th century the Isle of Man steamers bringing visitors to Llandudno needed a new landing stage, so this was rebuilt in concrete and steel in 1969. Sadly the pavilion on the pier was destroyed by fire in 1994, and has not been rebuilt.