The Historic Dockyard Chatham is set to unveil a redesigned Ropery gallery which will double visitor capacity and showcase the history of rope-making, its collection of rope tools and the importance of rope from around the world.

Chatham Historic Dockyard Ropery

Source: Chatham Historic Dockyard

An artist’s impression of the new Ropery gallery.

The Historic Dockyard Chatham said that the re-designed gallery space, scheduled to open in March 2022, would be able to accommodate everyone who wanted to learn the history of this important British story and engage even more visitors with learning about this integral part of the former Royal Naval dockyard. 

Thanks to funding from the DCMS/Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvements Fund and the Garfield Weston Culture Fund, Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust has appointed the creative team at Lima Studio to redesign the famous Ropery gallery.

Lindsay McGuirk, director of Lima, said: “We are excited for visitors to rediscover the Ropery and engage with its story in new ways.

“Our design carefully responds to the historic space, layering immersive film, soundscape, mass artefact displays, interpretive graphics and hands-on interactives to create an atmospheric and sensory journey that puts the Ropery workers, past and present, at its heart.”

Nick Ball, Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust Collections, galleries and interpretation manager, added that the new “free-flow gallery space” would improve the regularity of tours for visitors, as well as allowing for growth over the next ten years.

About Historic Dockyard Chatham

The historical attraction in Kent documents the story of rope and includes the iconic Rope Walk which stretches the length of 33 London buses. It consists of over 100 buildings and structures, including 47 Scheduled Ancient Monuments.

Rope has been made at Chatham for over 400 years and it is the last of the original four Royal Navy Ropeyard’s to remain in operation.

Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust recently acquired a vast collection of rope-making and rope-related objects from Des Pawson MBE and his (now closed) Museum of Knots & Sailor’s Ropework in Ipswich.

Historic Dockyard Chatham offers groups a dedicated coach park and drop-off. For group bookings, bespoke activities and itineraries designed to meet your requirements call 01634 823815, email or visit