Mussel Tank, Lytham - Sunlight showing the range of textures achieved using Hardscape paving and how well the pattern is revealed in evening sunlight

Mussel Tank, Lytham – Securing the history of a site through creative design, quality materials and construction

Client: Fylde Borough Council
Value: £112,506

The Mussel Tank, Lytham, was originally built in 1934 to enable fishermen to clean their catch of shellfish. Mussels were brought here from all over this coastline, some from as far away as Morecambe Bay.

Why is ‘The Mussel Tank, Lytham’ so special?

  • Its open aspect, with views over to the Pennines, Southport, the Great Orme, the Welsh mountains, and the beautiful open sea.
  • The close proximity to Lytham centre.
  • Its accessibility.
  • Historic buildings such as Lytham windmill (there were once moves to demolish it as it was seen as an industrial building), the old traditionally built lifeboat house from whence the first ocean going lifeboats set out.
  • Maritime connections. After the mussel tanks fell into disuse in the 1940’s uses were found for two of the three sections. One section currently houses the inshore lifeboat and RNLI shop, and the other, Ribble Cruising Club. For some years the third section was used as an informal swimming pool.


Partnership working

The Lytham St Annes Civic Society have sponsored the improvement project, and gratefully acknowledge the support of the Tom Blasson Foundation, the Lytham Schools Foundation, and Fylde Council.

The design was created by BCA Landscape (Chartered Landscape Architects), and the contract awarded to Landscape Engineering Ltd of Padiham.

The Friends of the Estuary and the RSPB have also assisted with the production of Interpretation boards to explain the history of mussel fishing as well as the flora and fauna of the area.


History provides Design Inspiration

Historic use of this site brings modern innovation in the use of paving. This was provided by Hardscape, a paving and hard landscaping company based in Bolton. The paving layout was produced using CAD and water jet cutting technology to provide the central square with 3D features giving the impression of the former ‘Mussel Tank’.

The design will incorporate planting, to be carried out by the local community, and a series of artwork panels set into a cast concrete wall. Hardwood seating and pre-cast concrete walls adorn the perimeter and provide a space to soak up the history of times past whilst looking towards the horizon of the Fylde Estuary.

It is envisaged that the space will be used for events and performance whilst ensuring its past is not lost, the Mussel Tank is literally ‘set in stone’ for many years to come.

Bringing together the history of a site, the innovation of a design concept, the quality of landscape paving and the skill of our craftsmen has resulted in a new showpiece on Lytham beach frontage.
Installing the first phase of BCA Landscape Architects latest design was a challenge for our team but has created a result that the project team and council can be proud of. Symbolizing the former ''Mussel Washing'' tank located on this point, the paving gives a 3D effect that represents the layout of the site during its historic former use.
Andy Kelly, Site Foreman, Landscape Engineering Ltd