National Piers Society
History of Margate Jetty

According to Walvin's 'Beside the Seaside', claims for a landing jetty at Margate date back to 1800. In 1824, the Margate Pier Harbour Co. erected an 1100 foot wooden jetty called the 'Jarvis Landing Stage'. However, this was only accessible at low tides and needed regular repairs. On 4th November 1851, it was breached in two places by a storm. The Company commissioned a new 'jetty' (so called to distinguish it from Margate Pier Harbour wall) and work began in 1853 to the design of Eugenius Birch (his first pier).

It opened in 1855 (the first iron pier) but was not completed until 1857. In 1875/8, it was extended and a new octagonal pier-head and pavilion were added. On 24th November 1877, a drifting vessel caused £4,000 damage. Further additions were made in 1893 and 1900.In World War II, the jetty was used for troop and supply movements. Steamer services resumed after the War, ending in 1966.

The jetty closed in 1976 on safety grounds, and was virtually destroyed by a storm on 11th January 1978 that isolated the lifeboat station. Attempts to demolish the remains were unsuccessful and part of the pier head survives to this day.


  Pier Statistics
Length Opened Lost Last Owner
--- 1855 1978 ---
Pier Gallery
Old postcards from website
Simplon Postcards of Margate Jetty
Tony Withers photos of the destruction of Margate Jetty
Google search for all images of Margate Jetty
Pier Weblinks
Wikipedia entry on the history of Margate