The original Swanage Pier was constructed in 1860 and built primarily for shipping the local Purbeck stone to London. Horses were used to pull carts along the narrow gauge tramway which ran along the Pier and seafront linking Swanage to the local quarries.
In 1874 local entrepreneur, George Burt started a steamer service between Swanage, Poole and Bournemouth. With the Pier now being used for day-trippers as well as stone cargo, it soon became clear that the Pier was unable to cope with the ever increasing traffic and that a new and longer Pier was needed. This was opened to traffic in 1897.
The new pier suffered decades of neglect in the second half of the 20th century and was nearly completely destroyed by the wood eating gribble worm. With the help of lottery grant funding and an innovative sponsor a plank scheme over one million pounds was raised for the restoration. This restoration has been completed to the original victorian specification and if you ever visit this magnificent pier take time out to read the plaques on the planks.