Ryde Pier is an early 19th century pier serving the town of Ryde, on the Isle of Wight, off the south coast of England.
Before the pier was built, passengers to Ryde had the uncomfortable experience of coming ashore on the back of a porter and then, depending on the state of the tide, having to walk as far as half a mile across wet sand before reaching the town. The need for a pier was obvious, especially if the town was to attract the wealthy and fashionable visitors who were beginning to patronise other seaside resorts across England.
The pier was designed by John Kent of Southampton and its foundation stone was laid on 29 June 1813. The completed pier opened on 26 July 1814, and had, as it still has, a timber-planked promenade. The structure was originally wholly timber, and measured 527m. By 1833, extensions took the overall length to 681m. It is this pre-Victorian structure which has, with some modifications, carried pedestrians and vehicles ever since.
A second 'tramway' pier was built next to the first pier, opening on 29 August 1864. Horse-drawn trams took passengers from the pier head to the esplanade. Prior to the construction of the railway pier, the tramway continued to Ryde Railway Station at St Johns Road. From 1886 to 1927 the trams were powered by electricity from a third rail, and from then until 1969 the trams were petrol-powered.