One of the visitor’s favourite things to do at The Historic Dockyard Chatham is to visit The Victorian Ropery. Dating to the 18th Century, The Victorian Ropery is the only one of the original four Royal Navy Ropeyards to remain in operation. You can still witness rope being made on the ropewalk today, the same way the Victorians would of, or even take a guided tour to “learn the ropes” and behind the scenes information.
The Master Ropemakers at The Dockyard busily make rope every week day – from dog leads to the rigging of HMS Victory. The Dockyard’s knowledge of the Ropery in previous years is substantial but of course any opportunity to know more is always helpful.
The Dockyard are delighted to announce a new collection they will be receiving which will be digitised and become part of their online collections.
Over the next few years, The Dockyard will be acquiring the collections of the Museum of Knots and Sailor’s Ropework. This small museum is based in Ipswich and has been the life work of Des and Liz Pawson. The collection has over 2,000 objects relating to rope, rope making, rope work and tools of the rope and canvas working trades, including a piece of anchor cable (the rope the anchor was attached to that is from HMS Victory believed to be from the 19th Century), preserved for the future.
The objects will be transferred to The Dockyard in batches over the next 2-3 years, doing so will allow time for the incoming objects to be quarantined – which includes freezing all organic materials – conserved, catalogued, photographed and packed for storage, and of course digitised for the online collection for the public to access online and available for research upon request too.
The first batch of objects arrived recently – take a look at below…