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Our History


The Historic Dockyard Chatham has made rope since 1618.  At over 1,100 feet long the Ropery is a unique and vibrant 19th Century working Ropery.  As the last remaining original naval ropeyard in operation The Historic Dockyard Chatham still plays an important part in the production of both natural and synthetic rope.....

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History of the Workers

Men and women have both played an important role in the preparation and production of rope at The Historic Dockyard, Chatham.

With the introduction of new mechanised machines for hatchellers and spinners a cheaper workforce was required. Female workers were employed for their cheapness and soon became known as the ‘women’ of the Ropery..........


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History of the Machinery

Much of the original machinery in The Ropery is still used to make rope today.

The earliest mechanical rope-making-machine to survive in Britain is a forming-machine still in use at Chatham, which was made by Henry Maudslay in 1811..... 

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History of the Machinery, Click here