Penarth, one of several major coal ports on the Welsh south coast, also boasted a resort that was competing in the lucrative paddle steamer trade across the Bristol Channel. In 1894 work began on a pier designed by H F Edwards and commissioned by the Penarth Promenade and Landing Pier Company Ltd. Under the management of the Mayohs brothers, Penarth Pier was completed the following year, opening on 4th February 1895.
Built in cast iron with a timber deck, the original pier was no more than a landing jetty and promenade. Facilities were extended in 1907 when a wooden pavilion was erected at the pier-head, and shops placed along the neck. When the pier was sold to the local council in 1926, they later made further additions including a new concrete landing stage and a shoreward end pavilion. A very pleasing structure, architecturally, the pavilion remains as the most notable feature of the pier today.