'Ryde, Isle of Wight', c 1820.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving showing the holiday resort of Ryde on the north coast of the Isle of Wight and its pier. Ryde Pier was the first of the pleasure piers that became so popular at British seaside resorts in the 19th century to be built. The pier was designed by John Kent of Southampton and built of timber in 1813-1814. Its original purpose was to allow pasengers to embark and disembark from ferries more easily. The pier was 1740 feet long, but was twice extended, in 1824 and 1833, reaching a length of 2250 feet. Two further piers were built alongside the first in 1864 and 1880 to accomodate trams and a railway. Various facilities were built on the pier for holidaymakers, including a concert pavilion completed in 1895.