Until the early 20th century rigid Victorian planting schemes dominated the parks and gardens of England in a bid to conquer Nature.
This design was inspired by a school of less formal gardeners such as William Robinson who despised neatly regimented rows of begonias and ‘snooker table’ lawns.
They filled their gardens instead with swathes of wild flowers and the tangle of unmown meadows providing havens for wildlife and restoring natural beauty to the landscape.
“This pier, if I may so use the phrase, appears to me to be a peerless pier – pier without peer – except, perhaps, the unfortunate peer who is now addressing you.”
These are the eccentric words used by the Earl of Granville to open Hastings pier in 1872. From its heyday in the 1920s to a devastating fire in 2010 the pier's been through a lot since then! Rebuilt in 2016, partially funded by the local community, it became the literal platform for our collection Pierscapes which features a series of photographs of the sea and sky taken from Hastings pier.