The foundation stone of the Admiralty Pier was laid on 2nd April 1848 as the first stage in the proposed harbour of refuge for the Royal Navy. The first section of pier was 800 feet long and completed in 1854, when another contract was awarded for a further 1000 feet.From 1851 cross-channel steamers were using the pier regularly. In 1860 the South Eastern Railway started running its trains along the pier to connect with the railway owned steamers. The SER’s rival, the London Chatham and Dover Railway, followed suit in 1864. The 1000 foot extension started in 1854 was to be completed by November 1864, but by 1864 a decision had still not been reached on how to terminate the pier. In 1871 it was finally decided to add a further 300 feet terminating in a substantial pier-head. The work was completed in 1875 and in the late 1870s it was decided to build the Pier Turret on the pier head for defence.In 1899 work started on extending the pier again as part of the new Admiralty Harbour, and in 1900 the extension of 2,000 feet was completed bringing the total length to 4,140 feet. In 1909 work started at the landward end of the pier to reclaim land for the building of the new Marine Station, which was completed in 1921. In 1981 a special berth was constructed for the Jetfoil service to Ostend in Belgium. In 1988 a new train ferry berth was opened which replaced the old Train Ferry Dock. In 1994-96 the old Marine Station was converted into the new Cruise Liner Terminal, and in 1998-2000 second cruise terminal was constructed, involving the widening of the pier extension.