Rhyl Pier, or The Victoria Pier to give it its full name, was built in 1867 and was the first pier to be built in North Wales. It was a great tourist asset to Rhyl, and steamer excursions ran to other Welsh resorts and Liverpool, but over the years it suffered from fire, storms and collisions and it was eventually dismantled in the Spring of 1973.
Designed by James Brunless and built by Messrs Laidlaw of Glasgow, it cost £15,000. This was a big project for Rhyl, its population at the time being only 5,000. It was 2,355’ (718m) long, 16’ (4.9m) wide and stood 11’ (3.35m) above high tide level.
image from The People’s Collection http://www.peoplescollectionwales.co.uk/Discover/Results/p_1/?keywords=rhyl%20pier&tags=rhyl%20pier&types=items
Shops were built on it, refreshment rooms and a bandstand were provided, as well entertainment at the Pier Pavilion and the Bijou Pavilion.
At Christmas time in 1883 a ship called “The Lady Stewart” crashed broadside into the pier during a terrific gale, carrying away 120-150’ (36-46m) of the structure. In 1884 a Norwegian steamer the “St.Olaf” also collided with it during a storm.
In 1901 The Grand Pavilion which stood at its entrance was destroyed by fire and part of the structure was closed. Storms in 1909 caused further damage, and by 1913 it was declared unsafe and put up for sale. No bids were made and then Rhyl Council stepped in and bought it for £1,000.
The pier re-opened in 1930, but in April 1965 Rhyl Council decided to demolish its remains. It was then closed to the public but stood for another eight years before it was eventually taken down.
see the report on History Points