Mumbles Pier

Mumbles Pier. Designed by W. Sutcliffe Marsh, it was constructed for the Swansea & Mumbles Railway Company, built from pre-fabricated parts by the Widnes Iron Foundry at a cost £10,000, and opened on 10 May 1898. According to the National Piers Society entry on it, the pier is 835' long ("Mumbles"). [Click on the image to enlarge it.]

"Mumbles is a delightful suburb of Swansea," writes A. J. Chisholm in 1900 (51), explaining that its main attractions are its cliffs — and the pier owned by the railway. The pier was, in fact, an extension of the line which had originally taken holiday-makers to this part of Swansea Bay by a horse-drawn passenger service, starting as early at 1807 (see Easdown and Thomas's introduction). Despite its lack of decorative kiosks, its purpose was largely entertainment: in its plain, tunnel-shaped pavilion it offered the usual mix of band concerts and pierrot shows, and later served as a holiday nightclub. But it was also a landing stage for paddle steamers. and later acquired the lifeboat station seen above, with the red roof, too. (This is now the Old Lifeboat Station, with a new larger one seen just behind it.)

The pier has had the usual problems with costly repairs and maintenance, and is currently being restored as part of an ambitious redevelopment of the resort. One of the more recent news items on the National Piers Society's site is from early 2019, explaining that: "The historic landmark was undergoing a £3.2m restoration to include an upgraded pavilion and boardwalk extending out into the water" ("Mumbles").

Photograph by Colin Price and text by Jacqueline Banerjee. [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.]


Chisholm, A. J. "A Railway Journey through Wales." The Railway Magazine/. Vol. 7 (July-December 1900). 46-52. Google Books. Free Ebook.

Easdown, Martin, and Darlah Thomas. Introduction. The Piers of Wales. Stroud, Glos.: Amberley, 2013.

"Mumbles." National Piers Society. Web. 24 June 2020.

Created 4 July 2020