Canham Consulting were appointed in 2014 to carry out the Principal Inspection of the timber Ha’penny pier at the Quay in Harwich.
The Pier was constructed in the period 1850 to 1853, and opened in July 1853. Initially it was used by cross channel ships and local paddle steamers, until the newer Continental Pier (now the Trinity Pier) was constructed. Built as the Corporation Pier and later renamed the Halfpenny Pier, pronounced Ha’penny Pier by the locals because of the toll charged to use it. It was used by the Royal Navy during World War 1.
The pier is constructed of about 120 hardwood piles and cross beams with a softwood deck. The inspections required getting to “arms-length” from a boat to check the integrity of the hardwood piles. The tidal range at Harwich required the survey to tie in with the time of an extra low tide to reveal the piles at low level, and at high tide to access the pile deck connections.
The survey package included CAD survey plans, sections through the framing and longitudinal sections through the lines of piles, timber section dimensional survey, condition survey spreadsheet and building surveys of the modern café building and historic timber ticket office, now converted to a museum.
Carrying out the Principal Inspection and preparing recommendations for localised remedial works and a planned inspection and maintenance regime to this historic, iconic structure was very “out-of-the-ordinary” and raised considerable interest in the office.