The construction that we now see at Weymouth was originally built as an extension of the esplanade in 1840.
It was extended again in 1857 when the railway arrived and later in 1877, a landing stage was added for merchant ships coming from the channel islands, mostly importing potatoes.
A new passenger landing stage and baggage hall was built for the Great Western Railway in 1888.
A Pavilion Theatre was constructed on the pier in 1908. Built very much in the style of the day, it had domed towers either side of the entrance and with seven turrets in all. The pavilion staged dramas; musicals, mostly comedies; pantomime and dance performances.
The pier was closed during the Second World War, but opened soon after the war had ended as there was no, or little, repair work to be carried out.
1949 was the height of popularity for paddle steamer excursions from Weymouth. At its peak there were four steamers based at the port, the Consul, Embassy, Victoria and Empress, with a fifth, the palatial Emperor of India, visiting from time to time and offering a one hour cruise.
Renamed the Ritz, the pavilion had survived the war without a scratch, but couldn’t survive a workman’s blow torch boob and it burnt down in 1954.
A second Pavilion Theatre opened in 1961.