The Totland Bay Pier Provisional Order was advertised in March 1879 to replace the ruinous old wooden structure. The 450 foot pier was completed the following March to a design by S.H. and S.W.Yockney. It opened that summer and facilities included a pier-head shelter and a tiny shoreward end amusement pavilion. Boats also called.
At the end of the 1927 summer season the ferry service ceased, though pleasure cruises continued until 1931. The pier was sectioned during World War II as a defence measure but was repaired by consultant engineer, Mr R.Humby of Poole. Some iron piles were replaced with timber whilst others, at the shoreward end, were reinforced with concrete. The pier re-opened on 17th June 1951 and received its first steamer for twenty years (the ‘Lorna Doone’). The official re-opening took place in 1952. A new pier-head shelter was constructed in the 1950s.
Sold to Trinity House in the early 1970s for £10,000, the National Physical Laboratory installed a data gathering centre here in 1975. Between then and 1992, the increasingly dilapidated pier changed owners several times. The amusement arcade was damaged by fire in August 1978 and, following a safety inspection, the pier was closed. It suffered storm damage in October 1987. Repair costs were estimated at over £1 million.
Mr Henry Leeson bought the pier in late 1992 for just £1,000. MV Balmoral called in May 1993, attracting much attention. But, although work began, progress was hindered by vandalism. In the mid-1990s, the cost of essential repair work was estimated to be £150,000.
In 1999, the pier was bought by Mr Derek Barran, an artist who used the main building on the pier-head as a studio.