South Esplanade

Work on the ‘new sea front’ running south from  Pier Street to Pillsmouth began in the late 1920’s. The postcard below, dated 1939, shows  amusement kiosks on the left and the remains of the rails to the jetty in the left foreground.



Marine Lake 1

Construction of the South Esplanade and Marine Lake was started with a grant from the Government to the Urban District Council  to combat unemployment and encourage Holiday Makers. The ‘Marine Lake’ a sea water swimming pool and boating lake was constructed on the site of the original Jetty tidal pool works (see Jetty trail point). Prior to this at around 1912 there had been changing rooms near the head of the jetty used by local swimming club when tide came in.

The First Lord of the Admiralty of the time the Rt Hon. A.V. Alexander ceremoniously rowed across the lake to open it in 1931.

A self-contained site, with paid admission, the Marine Lake enabled safer swimming for a time and it became a major holiday attraction in the town.  Unfortunately the old problem of silting and erosion continued, causing safety problems. Although the lake reopened  after its closure during the war it never returned to its original level of usage.

Above picture from Burnham on Sea Guide 1967

Eventually the structure became unsafe and fell into decay. It was not finally demolished until the 1980’s, debris still continues to emerge from the sand and mud from time to time.





This stood on the site now occupied by the Sea View Cafe and its forecourt.

Above picture from Burnham on Sea Guide 1967


The ‘Band Shell’ as it was also known stood further south along the Esplanade on the site now occupied by the ‘arena’ opposite the flats.  It was demolished during the building of the new sea defences.






2 thoughts on “South Esplanade”

  1. Very interesting article / information, with lovely pictures. Sadly Burnham-on-Sea has lost its sparkle in recent years, but it is lovely to see it in its heyday.

    1. Hi Anthony,
      Thank you for your comment. Glad you liked the South Esplanade page, hope you have explored and enjoyed the rest of the site too. Check the News page from time to time as we are adding new information whenever we can.

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