Herne Bay Pier was the third pier to be built at Herne Bay, Kent for passenger steamers. It was notable for its length of 3,787 feet (1,154 m) and for appearing in the opening sequence of Ken Russell's first feature film French Dressing. It was destroyed in a storm in 1978 and dismantled in 1980, leaving a stub with sports centre at the landward end, and part of the landing stage isolated at sea. It was preceded by two piers: a wooden deep-sea pier designed by Thomas Rhodes, assistant of Thomas Telford, and a second shorter iron version by Wilkinson & Smith.
According to The Illustrated London News of 1850, Herne Bay had fewer than a dozen inhabitants at the beginning of the 19th century, until a military encampment prompted expansion of population. This small development in turn attracted visitors who disembarked via hoys from passing London-Margate steamers. After a few bumpy rides in hoys the visitors decided they needed a pier and family accommodation at Herne Bay, and so the first Herne Bay Pier began. At the behest of a group of investors led by Surrey building contractor George Burge who had worked for Thomas Telford in St Katharine's Dock, a 3,613 feet (1,101 m) long and 24 feet (7.3 m) wide pier was designed and built by Telford's assistant Thomas Rhodes. Telford was building Whitstable harbour at the time. The first wooden pile was driven on 4 July 1831, and the structure was completed on 12 May 1832 at a cost of £50,000 when the steamer Venus brought the first passengers, in the same decade as Telford Terrace, the Pier Hotel and the promenade.