The North Pier Blackpool is one of three piers to grace the shore of our home town. It’s also the oldest and longest.
Originally designed as a promenade by Eugenius Birch in 1862, the North Pier was opened to the public for the first time in May 1863. It is now the oldest remaining Birch-designed pier and a Grade II Listed Building.
North Pier Blackpool was conceived as an upper class attraction. It charged admission and catered for the “better classes” with an orchestra, bandstand and church parades. The opening was a big deal for Blackpool. The seafront was closed, a parade was arranged, the opening got a cannon salute and over 20,000 visitors came to see the opening of the North Pier. In the first year alone, over 275,000 people visited the attraction.
Since opening, the North Pier Blackpool has endured a lot, from weather to collisions to competition. It has survived everything thrown at it.
In the years following its opening, the pier was extended to 1410 feet, repaired after being hit by Nelson’s “Foudroyant” and damaged by storms. That wasn’t the only time the pier was hit by a ship and damaged either and it was repaired each time.
The Indian Pavilion was added in 1877, the pier was widened in 1896 and had shops and attractions added in 1903. The Indian Pavilion was burned down in 1921 and rebuilt in 1939. During the 1960s, the Merrie England bar and amusements were added to attract a wider audience.
A Victorian-style entrance was added in the 1980s and the Carousel Bar was then added in 1991, along with a carousel and the pier tramway. In 1997, the end of the pier was severed during a storm, leaving the theatre dangerously close to the edge. In true Blackpool style, the pier was repaired and reopened quickly.
Recently the Blackpool North Pier has seen huge investment, restoration and the uplifting of the theatre. Then suffered more damage in December 2013 as it was hit by a storm once more, causing millions of pounds worth of damage.
The Blackpool North Pier has seen and endured a lot since being first opened, yet is still the finest example of Victorian pier architecture anywhere in the world. It still welcomes guests of all kinds and still provides a centre point for the town. We thoroughly recommend visiting it while you holiday in Blackpool!