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The Victorian Ropery

Find out how long a piece of string really is

As mentioned on BBC Radio 2 on the Chris Evans Show!

Rope has been made at Chatham Dockyard for almost 400 years and its rope, still made on the Ropewalk, has been used to rig the mightiest vessels ever to take to sea.

Today Chatham is the only one of the original four Royal Navy Ropeyards to remain in operation and together with its related buildings forms the finest integrated group of 18th century manufacturing buildings in Britain.


Take the Victorian Ropery Tour and “learn the ropes” with a foreman from 1875. Discover why the enormous double Ropewalk is nearly ¼ mile long. Before you visit, have a guess at how many miles of rope HMS Victory needed… you’ll be amazed at the answer!



Rope has been made here for 400 years and we still make it today – for lots of customers! This means you can witness the mysterious craft of ropemaking for yourself during our live demonstrations - Mondays to Fridays at 12.15pm from the Victorian Ropery Building.


“I’m not quite sure what I expected but what I saw blew me away – the ropery is an awesome place and who would have thought ropemaking is so interesting.”

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Get roped in!

Master Ropemakers

Master Ropemakers, a wholly owned subsidiary of Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust, continues to use the skills and tradition of 400 years of rope making at Chatham to supply today’s business and leisure markets.

In some cases their use has changed little in 400 years with Master Ropemakers supplying many of the world’s historic sailing ships with their rope needs – from Gannet, Cutty Sark and Victory in Britain, to the Australian barque Endeavour.

Master Ropemakers also supplies a wide range of non-maritime customers – from Aviaries to Zoos!  Our customers include film production companies, theatres, interior designers, garden designers, sports clubs & gymnasiums, adventure playgrounds, churches and cricket clubs.