Worthing Pier

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Worthing Pier
Worthing Pier at sunset, low tide.JPG
Worthing Pier in October 2011
Official nameWorthing Pier
TypePleasure Pier
DesignSir Robert Rawlinson
Total length960 feet (290 m)
Opening date12 April 1862
Coordinates50°48′26″N 0°22′08″W / 50.807316°N 0.368923°W / 50.807316; -0.368923Coordinates: 50°48′26″N 0°22′08″W / 50.807316°N 0.368923°W / 50.807316; -0.368923
Worthing Pier in July 2010
Worthing Pier in July 2010

Worthing Pier is a pier in Worthing, West Sussex, England. Designed by Sir Robert Rawlinson, it was opened on 12 April 1862 and remains open. The pier originally was a simple promenade deck 960 ft (291m) long and 15 ft (4.6m) wide. In 1888 the pier was upgraded with the width increased to 30 ft (9.2m) and the pier head increased to 105 ft (32m) for a 650-seat pavilion to be built. It is a Grade II listed building.

The pier has been named Pier of the Year by the National Piers Society on two occasions, first in 2006 and again in 2019.[1]

Worthing Pier, an Art Deco masterpiece, 2018


The first moving picture show in Worthing was seen on the pier on 31 August 1896 and is commemorated today by a blue plaque.[2] In 1897 a steam ship began operation between Worthing Pier and the Chain Pier in Brighton, twelve miles to the east.

In March 1913, on Easter Monday, the pier was damaged in a storm, with only the southern end remaining, completely cut off from land. Later, it was affectionately named 'Easter Island'. A rebuilt pier was opened on 29 May 1914.

In September 1933 the pier and all but the northern pavilion were destroyed by fire. In 1935 the remodelled Streamline Moderne pier was opened, and it is this that remains today.

Worthing Pier was sectioned in 1940 for fear of German invasion after the retreat at Dunkirk.[3] A large hole was also blown in the pier to prevent it being used as a possible landing stage in the event of invasion.[4]

The pier is owned by Worthing Borough Council (formerly Worthing Corporation).

The Pavilion Theatre and Denton Cafe is situated at the northern, land end of the pier; at the middle is the 1935 amusement arcade, which from 1956 - 2006 carried a distinctive 'New Amusements' sign that was featured on the cover of the album To See the Lights (1996) by Britpop band Gene. Since 2006 the sign has changed from 'New Amusements' to 'Pier Amusements'.

The Southern Pavilion (the sea end) is currently home to tearoom and function area, having undergone extensive renovation between September 2013 and the re-opening in April 2014, having previously been used as a nightclub named The Pier, which opened on 20 December 2007, and prior to that a cafe, dance hall and to house a model railway layout. It can be hired for weddings and is used as a live music venue.[5]

Since 2008, Worthing Pier has been the home of the annual International Birdman competition, which moved to Worthing after it could no longer safely be held on the pier at Bognor Regis, some 15 miles (24 km) to the west.[6] However, Birdman competitions were held in both towns from 2010.[6][7] On 24 February 2016, it was announced that the Birdman will be cancelled for that year and that the Worthing Town Centre Initiative (WTCI) were unsure whether it would return in 2017.

In November 2009 during strong winds, two Worthing kite surfers became the first people to kitesurf over the pier.[8]

Awards received[edit]


  1. ^ Art Deco Worthing Pier Dubbed Best in Britain: BBC report:https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-47878538
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 October 2009. Retrieved 18 January 2010.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 20 June 2006. Retrieved 30 June 2006.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 27 April 2007.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 September 2014. Retrieved 1 March 2015.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 November 2008. Retrieved 21 April 2009.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "International Bognor Birdman - The Official Bognor Birdman Website". www.birdman.org.uk.
  8. ^ "Two kite surfers jump over pier". 16 November 2009 – via news.bbc.co.uk.

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
South Parade Pier, Southsea
National Piers Society
Pier of the Year

Succeeded by
Preceded by
Llandudno Pier
National Piers Society
Pier of the Year

Succeeded by
Southend Pier