Designed by W. Sutcliffe Marsh and promoted by John Jones Jenkins of the Rhondda and Swansea Bay Railway, the pier opened on 10 May 1898 at a cost of £10,000. It was the western terminus for the world’s first ever passenger railway, the Swansea and Mumbles Railway; and a major terminal for the White Funnel paddle steamers of P and A Campbell, unloading tourists from routes along the River Severn and Bristol Channel.
The Amusement Equipment Company (AMECO) gained a licence to operate the pier from 1 October 1937. The pier was sectioned in World War II, but AMECO acquired the freehold in 1957, extensively reconstructing the facility and adding a landing jetty. A new arcade was built on the pier’s frontage in 1966. AMECO spent between £25,000 and £30,000 per annum on the maintenance and replacement of the steelwork between 1975 and 1985.
Closed on 1 October 1987 for a £40,000 refit which renewed steel around the entrance, the pier reopened on Good Friday 1988.
Today, the pier is used only for fishing and tourism, offering panoramic views of Swansea Bay with the Mumbles Lighthouse on one side and Port Talbot on the other. Half way along the Pier on the Bay side is an RNLI lifeboat station. Although still housing the historical records of the local Mumbles lifeboat, the House is currently unable to handle the newest types of lifeboat including the ‘Tyne’ Class boat which is having to be moored at sea just off the slipway. The Pier complex is owned and operated by the Bollom family.
The land beside the pier is now an entertainment complex comprising bars, restaurant, an ice-skating rink (opened in 2006 and featured in an ITV Wales documentary series) and an amusement arcade.