Imagine arriving in Bangor by pleasure steamer in the early 1900s, and landing at the pontoon on the end of Bangor Pier
In 1896 this became a reality for day-trippers, keen to holiday on steamboats that set off from Liverpool, Blackpool and the Isle of Man. Bangor Pier was built to cater to this growing tourist market.
Extending an impressive 460 metres into the Menai Strait, it is the longest surviving pier in Wales. J.J. Webster of London designed the sturdy, cast iron columns that support the steel structure. Look out for the elegant kiosks, with twisted ironwork in the shape of barley-sugar, that greet visitors at the pier’s entrance. The deck widens to include more kiosks – charming, octagonal huts with onion-dome roofs – and a small pavilion which served passengers disembarking at the landing pontoon.
Disaster struck the pier in 1914 when the SS Christiana, a cargo steamship, broke free from the pontoon at night and damaged the main part of the pier. Royal Engineers helped with makeshift repairs, but the First World War prevented proper restoration from taking place until 1921. After closing in 1971 and being bought by the council for just one pence, a public campaign to raise funds saw the pier reopen in 1987. It is thanks to the efforts of such enthusiasts that we are able to enjoy this historic landmark today.