Swanage Pier was built in 1896 and was originally used for the thriving paddle steamer industry that worked in the area and to assist the export of the locally quarried Purbeck Stone by sea to Poole and London.
The Old Pier which was built around 1859 was used to accommodate the ships carrying Purbeck stone from the quarries in the area and gradually fell into disuse and is now marked by the double line of decayed and broken piles that protrude above the surface of the sea.
The western end of the new pier was demolished during the second world war in case it was used for enemy landings but the section has since been replaced.
The entire pier has been refurbished after receiving a lottery grant. The pier and surrounding area is said to be some of the best diving areas in the south of England.
Swanage Pier won the National Piers Society, Pier of the Year for 2012.