Click on title to view photo in large format. Brighton Pier, stretching 1,722 feet into the English Channel, is generally regarded as the most magnificent pier ever built. It began life in 1832, as the “Chain Pier,” used as a landing terminal for ships arriving from Dieppe, France. Over the next six decades, the pier suffered damage from storms that eventually resulted in its total destruction. A new and better pier opened in 1899. Over the ensuing years, amusement machines, a concert hall, and amusement park rides were added.
Today Brighton Pier, illuminated by 67,000 lights every night of the year, offers something for everyone: shops, restaurants, music festivals, arcade games, concerts, and even a House of Horrors. In 2006, Brighton Pier installed two of the most famous thrill rides, Air Race and The Booster, shipped all the way from Italy. Even maintenance of the pier has moved into the 21st century. A crew known as “deck hands” paint the entire pier each year, a process that requires three months. Divers regularly survey the steel substructure that supports the pier. Recently, management has begun a project to clean debris from the seabed so that the marine environment beneath the pier can thrive.