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The original pier was built in 1865, to a design by Eugenius Birch of London. It was original 800ft in length (244m), but was damaged in a storm, rebuilt and re-opened in 1872 at 700ft in length (213m). The 'Borough Guide' produced by Edward J Burrows Co notes that the pavilion was of later date. It was added by G. Croydon Marks of London in 1896 at the instigation of the Aberystwyth Improvement Company. The guide describes the pier as having a bandstand at the far end and a spacious pavilion to 1500 people for concerts and entertainments. Both the pier and pavilion were lit with electric lights and formed the most crowded and fashionable centre of attractions in the town. The pier was truncated to its present length of 298ft (91m) in 1938 after being damaged by storms and heavy seas.

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