Construction of the current stone-built East and West piers was begun in 1710, though initially shorter, narrower and lower than they are now. The West Pier was extended by 100 yards in 1735 and gun batteries added on both sides of the harbour. The West Side Battery was rebuilt in 1787, with the addition of the two cylindrical powder houses. Between 1789 and 1861 some 75,000 tons of sandstone blocks were ordered for the repair, widening and lengthening of the piers, with most of the enlargement work complete by 1814. The lighthouse on the West Pier was added in 1831 and that on the East Pier in 1854, when the Spa ladder was rebuilt.
Between 1909 and 1914, the 500 feet extensions to the piers were constructed, to add shelter and reduce the sand deposited at the former harbour entrance – particularly since the new swing bridge,opened in 1909, allowed much larger vessels to use the harbour. The pier extensions were constructed using a "walking man" – a steel framework which was slowly advanced along the seabed as the building work progressed further out to sea.
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