Ropewalk

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Not to be confused with Tightrope walking.
For other uses, see Ropewalk (disambiguation).

A ropewalk is a long straight narrow lane, or a covered pathway, where long strands of material were laid before being twisted into rope.

Ropewalks historically were harsh sweatshops, and frequently caught on fire, as hemp dust forms an explosive mixture. Rope was essential in sailing ships and the standard length for a British Naval Rope was 1000 ft (305 m). A sailing ship such as HMS Victory required over 20 miles (32 km) of rope.

Downtown Liverpool's bohemian Ropewalks district takes its name from this practice and consists of the lanes where this work once took place.

Laying the rope in the ropewalk at Chatham Dockyard

The ropewalk at Chatham Dockyard (as part of the Ropery or Ropehouse). It is still producing rope commercially, and the rope walk has an internal length of 1,135 ft (346 m). When it was constructed in 1790, it was the longest brick building in Europe. Before steam power was introduced in 1836, it took over 200 men to form and close a 20-inch (circumference) cable laid rope.[1] The rope walk is used to form and close the rope, these being the final stages in rope making. Before this the raw hemp, manila hemp or sisal has to be hatchelled, spun into yarn, and tarred.

In the early 17th century, Peter Appleby constructed a 300-metre long ropewalk (for the dockyard) in the Christianshavn neighbourhood of Copenhagen, Denmark.[2]

From the late 17th century, the ropewalk on the Swedish island of Lindholmen was a key component of the Karlskrona naval base producing rope up to 300 metres in length for the cordage of warships. Although production ceased in 1960, the elaborately designed facility is now open to the public with exhibitions and demonstrations of ropemaking.[3]

In the 18th Century, Port Mahon, on the island of Menorca and Malta had open-air ropewalks.[4]

In Boston in the United States, some the early rope making businesses are called 'Ropewalks'.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Historic Dockyard Chatham, where legends were created." Guide Book. 2005. Jarrold Publishing.
  2. ^ "Appelbys Plads på Christianshavn. Engelskmandens Plads" (in Danish). Københavns biblioteker. Retrieved 2012-11-27. 
  3. ^ "The Rope Walk on the Island of Lindholmen", Upplev Karlsrona. Retrieved 24 June 2012.
  4. ^ Coad, Jonathan (1983). Historic Architecture of the Royal Navy. Victor Gollancz. p. 71. ISBN 0575032774. 
  5. ^ "Samuel Gray". bostonmassacre.net. Retrieved 29 May 2014. 

External links[edit]