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NORTH PIER

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North Pier, Blackpool was built between 1862 and 1863 by R.Laidlow and Son to the designs of Eugenius Birch. It was constructed of cast iron screw piles and columns supporting iron girders and a wooden deck. A landing jetty was added in 1866 and extended in 1869, giving the pier a length of 1410 feet. In around 1874, the pier-head was enlarged with wings and the Indian Pavilion and bandstand were built. In 1897, the 'Foudroyant', Nelson's former flagship, was moored off the pier for an exhibition but a severe storm battered it against the pier and left it as a wreck. Shops and an arcade were added to the shore-ward end of the pier in 1903. In 1921, the Indian Pavilion was destroyed by fire, it was replaced but this building was also burnt down. In around 1939, a 1500-seat theatre was built and the bandstand became a sun lounge. In the 1980s the entrance was rebuilt in Victorian style at a cost of £350,000 and in 1991 a carousel and pier tramway were added. The pier suffered storm damage in 1997, severing the jetty from the main structure. The pier is the oldest and best preserved of Blackpool's piers it retains much of the original structure and several original features. It is Grade II listed. The promenade deck is lined by wooden benches on each side, which have ornamental open-work backs of cast-iron. Two pairs or original kiosk bays, jutting out along the pier, have kiosks circa 1900 in date, which are elongated hexagons in plan. They are constructed of glass and wood with a two tier lead roof bearing an octagonal lantern of blue glass and a minaret roof with a finial.

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