Southampton’s one remaining pier is known, rather oddly, not as Town Pier but as Town Quay.

In the medieval town, Porters' Lane and Winkle Street were on the waterfront, but the Town Wall, built in the mid-1300s, cut them off from the water. So opposite High Street, a new quay was built outside the Water Gate – Watergate Quay, first recorded in 1411.

By the 19th century, this name was applied to the waterfront from God’s House Tower to the Royal Pier and Yacht Club. It was used by small coastal shipping and cross-channel cargo traffic.

In 1803 Town Quay was re-built, and a pier added. It was used for both goods and passenger services until the latter was relocated to the Royal Pier in 1833. In 1853, a jetty was built, lengthening the pier.

As the goods business moved to the far west of the docks, the warehouses on the pier were demolished. Redevelopment for office and leisure use began in the 1980s, though Red Funnel and Hythe Ferries still run passenger services from there.

Daily Echo: Fist World War troops waiting to board

Victoria Pier, a wooden Pier opened on July 8, 1833, by Princess Victoria, was built to provide steamer services with better docking facilities and to clear Town Quay for commercial activities.

Soon after its completion, it started to suffer from damage caused by gribble worms, resulting in the foundations needing to be rebuilt. In an attempt to prevent further gribble damage, the Pier's pilings were covered in large-headed nails.

In 1847, a horse-drawn tramway was constructed, to link to Southampton Terminus Railway Station.

Daily Echo: Victoria Pier 1890

In the 1890s the Pier was rebuilt in iron; pleasure facilities were added - including a pavilion - and in 1898 it was renamed Royal Pier.

It was closed on January 2, 1980, by its owners, British Transport Docks Board (now ABP), after engineers assessed that it was “economically unviable”.

The Gatehouse was reopened as a restaurant in 1986, but a fire on the pier on May 4, 1987, destroyed many of the other structures, and the pier remains in a severely derelict condition.

The Royal Pier just survives but two other Southampton piers fared even worse.

Daily Echo: Victoria Pier opening 1833

In the early 20th century, regular flying boat services departed from Southampton.

The much-feted completion of the new Marine Air Terminal in 1948, marked the return of these airborne leviathans after a wartime pause.

The Terminal was partly attached to the Eastern Docks and partly consisted of a pier-like structure, where the flying boats moored.

Just two years after it opened, British Overseas Airway Corporation sold its fleet of intercontinental flying boats to a Southampton-based airline, Aquila. Aquila kept short-haul services running to Madeira until 1958, when the once-glitzy and glamorous Marine Air Terminal was abandoned after only a decade in service.

Daily Echo: Southampton in 1923

The ruins of the pontoons of the terminal’s pier are visible from the car park at the end of Town Quay. For an even better view, take the high-speed catamaran ferry service to the Isle of Wight, and the pontoons are clearly visible as you leave Southampton.

A military train ferry pier was built to the west of Royal Pier in 1917, and used during the First World War. The jetty was constructed by Royal Engineers, to enable troops to be moved by train from other locations in the country, straight to the pier and onto a ship for France.

Daily Echo: Flying boat terminal pier

By the end of the war, 7,136,797 military personnel officers and men had embarked at Southampton for the Western Front.

It wasn't just men that were transported through the port - 153,810 vehicles, 822,160 horses, 13,103 guns plus 3,381,274 tons of stores, were shipped to France, aboard a total of 15,661 sailings.

Around 5,000 tons of ammunition a day, worth a million pounds, were shipped from Southampton, with double that amount on April 14, 1917. In February 1917, nearly 25,000 tons of ammunition were stored in the docks.

After the war, the pier was demolished and any remains now lie partly under Mayflower Park.

Daily Echo: SeeSouthampton logo. Image: Echo

Jack Wilson is a tour guide with .