Sandown has a rich military history due to its wide sandy beaches, which offered a perfect landing place for invasion. The coastline and Culver Cliff to the north of the esplanade are to this day dotted with forts and barricades which once provided protection against invading forces.
In the 19th century the Sandown was popular with Victorian visitors.
The pier opened in 1879 a mere 360ft long, due to the Sandown Pier Company, who were building the pier, running out of funds. In 1887 the Sandown Pier Extension company bought the pier and the pier was extended in 1895 to a length of 875ft with the addition of a new pavilion in 1934.
1971 saw the development of a more shore based entertainment area which was opened in 1973. The pier was sold in 1987 to the Sandown Pier Limited. A bad fire in 1989 caused severe damage and substantial repairs were required costing over £2 million.
The theatre on the pier played host to many famous names such as Ray Alan, Jimmy Tarbuck, as well as local Island acts and societies. It was closed down in 1997 due to dwindling attendance and a lack of local council budget.
Following a change of use, the current pier has many more amenities including indoor miniature crazy golf and the traditional seaside arcade.