The task was enormous, and it soon became obvious that the work would extend well beyond the anticipated completion date.
By December 1867, only 1,920 feet of the pier had been constructed. It was then that severe gales and heavy seas breached and destroyed almost 480 feet of the stone structure.
It was later established that the foundations had not been sunk deep enough to withstand the powerful force of the North Sea.
Repair work began, and by 1893 the pier was almost complete - but there were more problems, and movement of the structure was detected during the severe winter storms of that year.
In 1894, attempts were made to repair the damaged blocks of stone, but in 1895 further movement was detected, and several more stone blocks suffered significant damage.
By this time, the curved pier was complete. It measured 2,959 feet in length, including the lighthouse.
But disaster was set to strike. During freak gales and heavy seas lasting 48 hours in January 1897, the North Pier was once again breached, resulting in extensive damage.
Around 110 feet of stonework collapsed, leaving the lighthouse “marooned”. The breach grew, until it was almost 100 yards wide.
In 1898, it was decided that the pier would have to be completely rebuilt, with the contract being awarded to the firm of Sir John Jackson.
The pier was redesigned as a straight line, and in October of that year, rebuilding work commenced.
The old sections of pier were used as shelter when work on the new section began. Most of the work went according to plan, and by January 15, 1908, the North lighthouse was commissioned.
In 1910, the new pier was finally complete. It eventually opened on April 1 - not within seven years as first planned, but a 56 years after work had first begun. Thankfully it has stood solidly ever since.
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