Pier planned for Adelaide Crescent

Did you know that 150 years ago a pier was planned to be sited opposite Adelaide Crescent? An article in the Sussex Advertiser for 12th April 1864 stated: “A company has been formed for the purpose of constructing a pier at the west end of the town. It is proposed that it should be erected immediately opposite that beautiful row of buildings known as Adelaide Crescent. It will be much longer than the chain pier, and the roadway will be even wider than that of the projected pier in front of Regency Square. There are to be no stalls or shops on it, the object being to provide a pleasant marine promenade, with landing steps for pleasure boats. The question was submitted to the consideration of the Brunswick Square and Terrace Commissioners at their meeting on Thursday morning, when a plan of the pier was presented, which shows that it will be of very plain, yet ornamental character. The Commissioners expressed themselves in favour of the project, but at the same time they considered it their duty to draw the attention of the company to a provision in their Act of Parliament which prohibits the erection of anything in front of the crescent more substantial than the iron railings which now skirt the esplanade. Thus it will be necessary for the company to obtain a special act of Parliament”.

The act was not applied for and the drawing did not survive. The attached image is of the West Pier as originally built in 1866 to the design of Eugenius Birch. The proposed pier may have been something like this without the six pavilions.

The Brunswick Square and Terrace Improvement Act of 1830 had been extended in its area by a further Act of 1851, then amalgamated with the new westward developments into the Hove Commissioners Act of 1873 and replaced by the Urban District Council in 1894. The provisions of the original Act guarding against development of the open spaces between the Crescent and the sea remain in force.