Ryde pier (Isle of Wight)
Ryde Pier was a group of three separate piers:
– a promenade pier (now a listed building)
– an electric tramway pier (now gone)
– and a steam railway pier (still used although not by steam trains).
Designed by John Kent of Southampton, the construction started in 1813 and completed in 1814. The pier was constructed to solve the problem of embarkation and disembarkation from the ferries. Originally built of timber, to a length of 1,740ft (527m) and 12ft (3.6m) wide.
As ferry size grew from small sailing boats then the pier had to adapt. It was extended to 2,040ft (618m) in 1824 and the pier-head was enlarged in 1827. A further extension in 1833 took the overall length to 2,250ft (681m), while the pier-head was again extended in 1842 and the late 1850s.
A second horse drawn ‘tramway’ pier was built alongside the existing structure, opening in 1864. This proved to be of little success later to be replaced by electric trams.
In 1880 on a third pier adjacent to the tramway pier a direct steam railway link to the pier-head was created.
In 1895 a concert pavilion was constructed (demolished later) at the pier-head and over the next sixteen years the original wooden piles were replaced in cast iron.
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