An excellent venue for education

As well as being a tourist attraction and a place of interest, Clevedon Pier is also a very good site for educational purposes. Subjects include history, geography, geology, art, physics, to name just a few.

School & College Visits

We welcome visits from school and college students from all over the country, even the world!! A guided tour of the pier and the and our heritage collection can be given, by prior arrangement.

Special rates are available for groups of students and teachers/helpers. Please contact the Pier office on 01275 878846, or via enquiries@clevedonpier.com to book your visit and discuss further details. There will be a Health & Safety Briefing to all visitors on the pier, prior to the commencement of any tour.

We encourage children/students to go back home and tell their parents/relatives about their visit to Clevedon Pier and persuade them to come back again, this time with a member of their family!!

Teachers Information

We have a number of pieces of information that may be useful for teachers/lecturers prior to attending the pier, if perhaps, the visit is to be incorporated into a specific project. The following three sections are also available in PDF format for printing as work sheets.

For other resources, see Further Reading at the bottom of this page.

If you require any specific information, please do not hesitate to contact us prior to your visit and we will endeavor to do our best to help you out.

Some interesting facts and figures…

  • The deck is made from Opepe, an African hardwood.
  • Some of the fish caught from the pier are; Bass, Cod, Conger, Dab, Flounder, Lesser Spotted Dogfish, Pouting, Rocking, Silver Eel, Sole, Tub, Gurnard, Thornback Ray, Turbot and Whiting.
  • Ships which dock at the pier are; PS Waverley, MV Balmoral and MS Oldenburg. These ships take on water and supplies, as well as passengers.
  • The pier was designed by R.J. Ward and J.W. Grover. Ironwork was by Hamiltons of Liverpool.
  • The Toll House was designed by Hans Price.
  • The pier is 312 metres long, from the gates to the rails at the end.
  • It is constructed of cast iron, wrought iron, steel, wood and glass.
  • Average rise and fall of the tide, ordinary spring tide – 14 metres (47 feet), the second highest tide in the world.
  • Depth of water at high tide, ordinary spring tide – 16 metres.
  • Depth of water at low tide, ordinary spring tide – 2 metres.
  • Distance to Cardiff from the pier head – 21 kilometres.
  • Distance to Severn Crossing – 18 kilometres.
  • It took 60 men, 18 months to build the pier.
  • 350 tons of wrought iron was used in the building of the pier.

Clevedon Pier… Fact Sheet

1847 Railway reaches Clevedon offering possible link to South Wales by steamer.
1863 Application for the construction of a pier at Clevedon.
1866 Clevedon Pier Company formed with Sir Arthur Elton as Chairman.
1867 Construction of the pier started, by Hamilton’s Windsor Ironworks of Liverpool. Total cost: £10,000.
1869 The official opening of Clevedon Pier, on Easter Monday 29th March.
1892 Original wrought iron pier head was replaced.
1893 Rebuilt in cast iron and reopened on 3rd April.New timber landing stage added. Regular steamer traffic began at the pier.
1894 Two storey pavilion and two shelters were completed.
1913 Pre-cast concrete landing stage was built, to replace original timber one, which was in poor condition.
1950 Introduction of weight testing to obtain insurance cover.
1970 The furthest two spans of the pier collapsed during loading test for insurance purposes. Estimate for repairs – £75,000.
1971 Clevedon Pier Preservation Trust is established on 6th September.
1979 Application made to demolish. Estimate for restoration – £379,000.
1980 A public enquiry saves the pier from demolition. Fundraising starts.
1981 Clevedon Pier Trust Ltd. Is formed.
1985 Rebuilding started and pier taken down to be restored.
1986 Pier contractor went in to administration
1988 Pier Promenade rebuilt.
1989 Pier re-decked and opened on 27th May
1998 Restoration of Pier head and pagodas completed and reopened on 25th May
1999 Pier of the year
2013 Pier of the year
2014 Funding secured for >£2m Visitor Centre.
2015 Work on the new Visitor Centre started.

Clevedon Pier… A Question of History

  • When was Clevedon Pier opened?
  • What happened in 1970?
  • When was the promenade restored & reopened – 1973, 1989 or 1995?
  • Who owns the pier?
  • How high can spring tides rise from low water?
  • Who sponsored the pier gates?
  • On 23rd May 1998 Sir Charles Elton Bt unveiled a plaque. What did it commemorate?
  • What is the name of the paddle steamer that sails from the pier?
  • How many men did it take to build the pier, and how long did it take them?
  • How much wrought iron was used in the building of the pier?
  • What is the pier mainly built of?
  • What was the role of the Toll House?

Further reading

Striding Boldly – The Story of Clevedon Pier by Nigel Coombes.
This book gives a great deal of history of the pier, its collapse and subsequent renovation and re-building.

Clevedon Pier – Description of a Wrought-Iron Pier at Clevedon, North Somerset.
This small, technical document is a reprint of a paper from the proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Volume XXXI, Session 1870-71, reproduced with kind permission of The Institute of Civil Engineers.

The booklet is sold in the Toll House, priced at £2.60.

Grandeur & Decay – A salvaged history of Clevedon Pier by Paul Newman.
Published by Engart Press, Bristol, Printed by Photobooks (Bristol) Ltd. in 1981. ISBN 0 9507196 2 5. This book, though not completely up to date, gives a detailed account of the construction and original opening of the pier. It then goes on to describe the fatal collapse of the pier in 1970 and has an in-depth interview with Bernard Faraway, who was one of the Pier Masters for twenty five years.

Clevedon Pier by Keith Mallory.
Published by Redcliffe Press Ltd., Bristol and printed by Burleigh Ltd., Bristol in 1981. ISBN 0 905459 24 5. This book gives an in-depth pictorial history in numerous black and white photos from 1867 to 1980.