Brighton Chain Pier

East Sussex Record Office
Late modern period
Tourism and Culture


A view of Brighton, showing the Chain Pier. Engraving by T. A. Prior, mid 19th century.


The Brighton Chain Pier was opened on 25 November 1823. The pier was primarily intended as a landing stage for packet boats to Dieppe, until they transferred to the more sheltered Newhaven.  It was different from typical piers because, rather than being built on stilts, the deck of the pier was suspended from chains attached to pillars. The pier was destroyed in a storm on 4 December 1896. Brighton Palace Pier (now known as 'Brighton Pier') was then under construction and was not opened to the public until May 1899.


View 1 : View of Brighton by T. A. Prior, showing the Chain Pier - ESRO, PDA/B5

View 2 : Brighton Chain Pier. Watercolour by Clem Lambert, local artist from Brighton.

View 3 : Brighton Chain Pier. Postcard.

View 4 : Holidaymakers on the beach and bathing machines on the water edge, near Brighton's Chain Pier. Photograph by Thomas Donovan, c.1890 (c) Brighton & Hove City Council

View 5 : The destroyed Chain Pier on 5 December 1896. Photograph credited to Thomas Donovan (c) Brighton & Hove City Council.



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