The birth of St. Annes-on-Sea is closely related to the story of some of the local wealthy families of the day. Colonel Clifton, the Squire of Lytham, wanted to develop the area known as ‘West End’ that would become St.Annes. All there was amongst the dunes in 1870 was a railway from Blackpool to Lytham, a lighthouse, and several farms and cottages that paid rent to the Clifton estate. They had seen what had happened to Lytham as a resort and considered the dunes along the coast as a blank canvas. They started in 1872 with a road parallel to the coast.
The first hotel that was ever built was the St Annes hotel. The foundation stone was laid by a seven year old John Talbot Clifton in March 1875.
The Pier was started in 1879, opened in June 1885 by Lord Derby. It was 315 yards long and cost £18,000. The Pier was uncovered except for a shelter at the far end.
In the 1950s and 60s the Pier had an amusement arcade and restaurant added and major renovation after years of being hit by the elements. In June 1974 Princess Anne paid a visit to the Pavilion to celebrate the centenary of the St.Annes Land & Building Company but a month later it was gutted by fire. Another fire destroyed the Floral Hall in 1982. It was thought too dangerous to keep the end of the pier so it was demolished reducing to two thirds of the original length.