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Created today

... mastered 400 years ago

We’ve been showing people the ropes for generations. Rope has been made at Chatham Dockyard for 400 years, miles upon miles of rope that has rigged the mightiest vessels ever to take to sea, including Nelson’s Victory.

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.

The ancient craft of rope making still takes place daily, using traditional techniques mastered centuries ago. We call these special artisan craftsmen and women the MASTER ROPEMAKERS.

Master Ropemakers is a traditional manufacturing company offering bespoke design and manufacture. From garden projects and home renovations to dog leads and artwork, visit the Master Ropemakers website or give us a call (01634 823890) to discuss your requirements. Next day delivery is available.

All new Ropery experience

New for 2022

Join us in a brand-new gallery for an atmospheric journey through the lives of Ropery workers, past and present, before stepping out onto the iconic ropewalk and witnessing ropemaking in action.

Immersive film, hands-on interactives, and displays, including a vast collection of ropemaking and rope related objects from the Museum of Knots & Sailor’s Ropework, tell the story of rope and its place in British history, with over 400 years rooted in Chatham.

Behind the Scenes Blogs

Follow the progress of our new gallery developments through our latest blog posts…

Creative team appointed

We have selected innovative creative studio Lima, based in Nottingham, for the exciting redesign of the Ropery Gallery.

Launching the gallery

The new gallery will double capacity to this part of the Dockyard, meaning even more visitors can learn the ropes.

Conserving treasures

Discover how an object goes from arriving at the Dockyard to being safely ready to display within a gallery.

Never the twain shall meet

Once upon a time in the Ropery women were kept away from the men. However Leanne Clark became the first female ropemaker where for, over 400 years, the Rope Walk was a male only domain.

The Age of Rope

Let’s meet the man behind the Museum of Knots & Sailor’s Ropework, Des Pawson MBE, who has collected rope for over 40-years. Des himself is a rope expert and artist.

Cutting the Rope

We officially ‘cut the rope’ and opened our new Ropery Gallery which ties together the amazing stories of the people whose lives are intertwined with the production of rope at Chatham.

Ropery Experience

Be transported back in time during our 30-minute Ropery Experience. Learn about the ancient art of ropemaking, its vital role in supporting Chatham’s shipbuilding and discover why our enormous Double Ropewalk is ¼ mile long. You’ll also have the opportunity to get hand-on with our ropemaking machine, before exploring the breath-taking Ropery buildings.

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Rope making

Rope has been made here for 400 years and we still make it today – for clients around the world. You can witness the mysterious craft of ropemaking for yourself during our live demonstrations - Mondays to Fridays at 12.15pm from The Ropery.

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“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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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 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.