LCT 7074 is the only surviving Landing Craft (Tank) from D-Day, and one of only three in the world.

Displacing 500 long tons, LCTs were built crudely and quickly to carry and put ashore tanks – LCT 7074 took 10 to Normandy on 6 June 1944 alone. This visionary project will secure a sustainable future for this exceptional survivor, completing the conservation that began with salvage in 2014, and showcasing her outside, as an integral part of the newly-opened Portsmouth D-Day Story.

This will put LCT 7074 in the city’s heart, potentially engaging 4.5 million annual users of Southsea Common with the story of the ship and her people; it puts her D-Day narrative – which uniquely links sea and land – in context for museum visitors. The project will create activity opportunities in Portsmouth and beyond, train apprentices and volunteers, and create a unique venue.

The proposed capital works are designed to directly protect the heritage significance of the ship and tanks by preventing further deterioration and stabilising the very vulnerable fabric.

The project will fully conserve the hull, superstructure and interior spaces, and provide appropriate public access to all areas. At present 7074's internal state is very poor and the ship's deterioration will undoubtedly accelerate if conservation work is not carried out.

The proposed capital works will reveal heritage that is presently inaccessible. The visitor experience will be a vehicle for portraying the significant and largely overlooked story of Royal Navy landing craft and their crews at D-Day. The location alongside the new DDS will provide the ship with extraordinary context, allowing visitors to properly understand her place in the bigger picture of Operation Neptune.

External interpretation, perhaps digital, will bring elements of the ship's story to potentially 4.5 million passing visitors to Southsea Common, at any time of day and night.

The interpretive scheme and the community engagement and learning activity will ensure that two hidden archival collections will be brought to the attention of a diverse range of people. Diaries, letters and interviews inevitably contain a wide range of vivid testimony, encouraging empathy through their evocation of the fear, excitement, danger, humour and camaraderie which characterised service in the tiny crews of these ships.

Project Details

  • Client: National Museum of the Royal Navy & Portsmouth City Council

  • Designation: Historic Ship

  • Status: On site

  • Project Value: £6.2m

  • Project Manager: Artelia

  • Structural Engineer: Mann Williams

  • M&E Engineers: Chapman BDSP

Sharon Pritchard