Moving a priceless historic item

Every lift and shift we complete is planned with the aim that no damage to the item in question occurs. But even if a completely unanticipated act of nature were to occur that led to damage, most items can be replaced. 

Not so with this lift and shift project. 

We were charged by The Mary Rose Trust at Portsmouth Historic Docks to move a priceless artefact – one that can never be replaced.

Read on to find out more.


The trust wanted to relocate the ship’s cannon and other priceless artefacts from the famous and historic Mary Rose Ship to a new display in the museum. 

Obviously, the biggest challenge in this lift and shift project was to ensure that absolutely no damage was done to any of the items. 

The museum also did not want operations to be disrupted. But conducting the lift and shift during the daytime would be difficult and unsafe with so many tourists visiting the museum.


To properly prepare for this project, we conducted numerous site meetings to ensure on the night of the move everything went without incident. For this project, we utilised several specialist items from our lifting and handling kit including a porta gantry, jacks, skates, and scoots.

We decided to conduct the project during nighttime hours, to avoid interference from the public and to ensure the museum could open as normal. We would only have one night to complete the move.


Thanks to our meticulous planning our expert team completed the work in good time and the centre was able to open on time as promised.

The museum’s management team were delighted:

“The feedback I got from staff here was that there was no messing around, but also absolutely no corners cut. They were very impressed and said that if we ever need to move things again you should be the first people to call. I thought you might like to hear that feedback!” 


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We can support you from project tender applications right the way through to implementation and management.

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Determined to get the job done, no matter what the obstacle.


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Whether your requirements are a simple one-off lift or a multi-crane technical lift, Fortis Heavy Lift has the equipment and the know-how to provide a safe, efficient and cost-effective solution for your project