As part of the Year of the Pier, we take a look at one of Brighton's most famous landmarks.

1. Building began on the 1760ft pier in 1891 and it was opened on 20 May, 1899.  

2. The Grade II* pier had a 1500-seat theatre at the seaward end, which opened in 1901, and a pavilion/winter garden was added to the centre in 1910. 

3. The pier was extended in 1938 but was temporarily sectioned as a war precaution in 1940. 

4. It wasn’t damaged during the war but in 1973 a barge caused £100,000-worth-of-damage after drifting into it. The theatre was closed and the landing stage was wrecked and had to be demolished.  

5. The Noble Organisation took over the pier in March 1984. They dismantled the theatre in 1986, on condition that it would go into storage for eventual restoration.  But it’s not known what happened to the theatre’s remains. The site now houses a pleasure dome and amusement park.  

6. A fire in February 2000 destroyed some of the amusement rides but the area was quickly renovated and by 2007 high thrill rides and a food court had been introduced. The pier’s name is changed to Brighton Pier to much protest.  

7. In June 2011, the Noble Organisation put the pier on the market with a reported price tag of £30 million. It was taken off the market the following year but was finally sold to Eclectic Bar Group, chaired by ex Pizza Express boss Luke Johnson, for £18 million in April 2016.  

8. In July 2016 the pier reverted to its original Brighton Palace Pier name to the delight of residents, historians and the National Piers Society.  It doesn’t get its new signage until June 2018, though.  

9. The pier is named Britain’s most visited tourist attraction outside London in August 2017 with an estimated 4,650,000 visitors the previous year.  

10. Brighton Palace Pier is transported back to the 1950s for Harry Style’s film My Policeman, being shot at locations across Sussex. It’s now the location for the second series of British crime drama Grace, based on the bestselling Roy Grace novels by Sussex-based author Peter James.  

To find out more about the famous past and present piers in Sussex, pick up a copy of the March 2023 issue of Sussex Life magazine, on sale February 17th.