The original Swanage Pier was built in 1859, primarily for shipping stone which ended up as London pavements.
Depending upon which records you believe, a paddle steamer service started in either 1861, or 1874 taking passengers initially to Bournemouth and later to and from Weymouth, Lymington and Poole.
By the mid 1880s it was clear that the popularity of the pier necessitated a new larger and/or longer pier.
The new pier was started in 1896 and finished the following year, it’s first ‘visitor’, being the Paddle Steamer Lord Elgin, the last to visit was the PS Embassy in 1966. However, the PS Waverley does visit each autumn.
You can still see traces of the old pier to the right of the new one in my painting above.
It is a charming small pier.