Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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The West Ropery (site of), South Yard, Devonport Dockyard

A Scheduled Monument in Devonport, Plymouth

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Latitude: 50.3673 / 50°22'2"N

Longitude: -4.1783 / 4°10'41"W

OS Eastings: 245175.639944

OS Northings: 54196.374652

OS Grid: SX451541

Mapcode National: GBR R4F.20

Mapcode Global: FRA 2842.80X

Entry Name: The West Ropery (site of), South Yard, Devonport Dockyard

Scheduled Date: 22 August 1969

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1002573

English Heritage Legacy ID: PY 654

County: Plymouth

Electoral Ward/Division: Devonport

Built-Up Area: Plymouth

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


Part of the laying house of the West Ropery, South Yard, Devonport Dockyard.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 13 October 2015. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

The monument includes part of the 18th century laying house of the Ropery in Devonport Dockyard and is known as the West Ropery. The laying house survives as the foundations and below ground brick vaulted and stone-faced storage cellars of a relatively narrow but up to 360m long building. Approximately 44 of the cellars remain intact and are accessed from the west side of the building. The cellars were used for storing tar used in connection with the rope making. The long building was specifically designed for the production of rope whereby the fibres were stretched and twisted along a rope walk. Latterly specialist machinery was employed to help industrialise the process. The laying house was built in an around 1743 and was a crucial part of a thriving dockyard. The building was bombed during the Second World War and only the foundations and cellars survived.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The production of ropes and sails were a fundamental industry connected with ports since they were crucial to both naval and merchant shipping. Despite its partial destruction through bombing the surviving part of the laying house of the West Ropery, South Yard, Devonport Dockyard with its cellared storage is an integral part of this whole specialised process, and enough survives to appreciate the uniqueness of the process of producing a lengthy, slender, specialised, fibrous product.

Source: Historic England


PastScape Monument No:-437600

Source: Historic England

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