SOUTHEND Pier has been ranked alongside the likes of Hampton Court Palace as part of a competition to find England’s greatest attraction.

The pier, world famous for being the longest pleasure pier in the world, has been included in the sports and leisure category by Visit England, as part of its Hall of Fame campaign.

The campaign, launched ahead of an exhibition to mark St George’s Day, features the great and good of English life, including the Queen, the Beatles, the Magna Carta and Cornish pasties.

The pier is one of 60 things on the list and people have until Sunday, April 13, to vote for their favourite.

Derek Jarvis, Southend councillor responsible for culture and tourism, said: “We’ve always known the world-famous pier is our jewel in the crown and this just goes to prove it.

“It’s absolutely fantastic we’ve made it into the final 60 and alongside some other fantastic and traditional English places and events.

“However, I would urge local people and our visitors who love the pier so dearly to vote for it as their favourite and see it crowned as number one!”

In 1829, the Lord Mayor of London, Sir William Thompson, laid the first foundation stone of the pier, and by 1848, it had become the longest pier in Europe.

The wooden pier was later replaced by an iron structure and was completed by 1889.

Visit England launched a search in February to establish the country’s hall of fame when it asked the public what England’s most attractive destinations were.

The winning destination will go on display alongside 18 of the best UK tourist locations in a one-off exhibition on London’s Southbank.

The exhibition, which will celebrate what England has to offer in the world of tourism, will be held from Wednesday, April 23 until Wednesday, April 30.

The top 60 can be viewed and voted on at www.englandshallof