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The Victorian Ropery

Created today

mastered 400 years ago ...

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

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

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 crafstmen and women the MASTER ROPEMAKERS.

Master Ropemakers is a traditional manufacturing company offering bespoke design and manufacture. From garden projects and home renovations (time to install a new home gym?) 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.


The current closure of the Dockyard during COVID-19 also extends to the Master Ropemakers.  Whilst the team would love to continue making and selling rope, the safety of our customers and staff are our utmost priority. Please be reassured that as soon as it is safe the do so the ropewalk wheels will be back in motion.

Your custom helps to keep the Ropery alive and when life returns to normal, supporting local businesses will be incredibly important.


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 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 Victorian Ropery.


“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.


COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – Notice to Visitors

As with the rest of the world, Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust is closely monitoring the evolving situation around the global pandemic of COVID-19.

It is with sadness that following UK Government guidelines we have closed our visitor attraction to the public until further notice.

This closure extends to Call the Midwife Official Location Tours and The Festival of Steam and Transport (12 – 13 April).

Whilst outside of our control, we apologise for any inconvenience caused during this difficult time and would like to thank all our visitors for their understanding during this challenging period.