The Perch Rock battery was completed in 1829. It mounted 18 guns, mostly 32 pounders, with 3 6-inch guns installed in 1899. Originally cut off at high tide, coastal reclamation has since made it fully accessible.
In 1830, a Liverpool merchant, James Atherton, purchased much of the land at Rock Point, which enjoyed views out to sea and across the Mersey and had a good beach. His aim was to develop it as a desirable residential and watering place for the gentry, in a similar way to Brighton, one of the most elegant seaside resorts of that Regency period – hence "New Brighton". Substantial development began soon afterwards, and housing began to spread up the hillside overlooking the estuary – a former gunpowder magazine being closed down in 1851.
During the latter half of the 19th century, New Brighton developed as a very popular seaside resort serving Liverpool and the Lancashire industrial towns, and many of the large houses were converted to inexpensive hotels. A pier was opened in the 1860s, and the promenade from Seacombe to New Brighton was built in the 1890s. This served both as a recreational amenity in its own right, and to link up the developments along the estuary, and was later extended westwards towards Leasowe. The New Brighton Tower, the tallest in the country, was opened in 1900 but closed in 1919, largely due to lack of maintenance during World War I. Dismantling of the tower was complete by 1921.
The Tower Ballroom hosted numerous concerts in the 1950s and 1960s by local Liverpool groups such as The Beatles as well as other international stars. The Tower Ballroom continued in use until it was destroyed by a fire in 1969.
Ferries across the Mersey to New Brighton ceased in 1971, after which the ferry pier and landing stage were dismantled. By 1977, the promenade pier had suffered the same fate.
New Brighton became the subject of Martin Parr's famous photographic book The Last Resort and is the birthplace of writer Malcolm Lowry.
The Floral Pavilion Theatre which opened in 1913 was rebuilt in 2007/2008 as part of a multi-million pound redevelopment which saw the opening of the Marine Point leisure and retail facility in 2011.
Building on New Brighton's Success
A range of local businesses, community & voluntary organisations and Wirral Council are working together to help New Brighton achieve its collective vision to build upon its strengths to become a year round premier destination, attracting increased day trippers and overnight stays and increasing employment, whilst supporting and responding to the needs of the local community.
Further information about New Brighton Coastal Community Team and the Economic Plan for the resort can be found here.