Description: The Former Ropewalk 75 Metres North West of Millbrook House
Date Listed: 3 July 1980
English Heritage Building ID: 263870
OS Grid Reference: ST5121713698
OS Grid Coordinates: 351217, 113698
Latitude/Longitude: 50.9207, -2.6954
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ST 5113 WEST COKER HIGH STREET
The Former Ropewalk, 75
Metres North East of
Former Twine Works, including engine room and coal store, now store and workshop. Late C19, with C20 alterations and extensions. Bolted timber frame with double Roman tile roof covering, replaced in parts with C20 corrugated sheeting.
PLAN: irregular L-plan, with the main component, the twine walk, aligned east -west, with wing extending southwards at east end.
FRONT (south) ELEVATION: Single-storeyed 30-bay twine walk , with arcaded open front. Small roof dormer to east end. Single storeyed engine room and coal store extend south at east end.
INTERIOR: Low GROUND FLOOR with arcaded interior, the posts supporting deep crossbeams and joists, the latter with criss-cross bracing. This floor was used for the finishing of the twine, a mechanised process which involved the use of moveable components, powered by horizontal line shafting at the eastern end of the building. This drove grooved driving drums, which remain in- situ. Other trolley-mounted drums for tensioning the twine are sited at the western end of the walk, and ran on rails which remain in situ. Hand winches to operate the trolleys are mounted at the eastern end of the walk. Between the trolleys and the winches are horizontal boards, or rakes' fixed to vertical posts and with metal spikes in their upper surfaces, and angled planks, or peg boards,' set on edge. Iron troughs, set towards the eastern end of the walk, were used for washing and sizing processes Timber partition at the eastern end separates the walk from an office. Beyond this, an open timber stair gives access to the twisting floor in the attic.
The ATTIC FLOOR houses 2 walks. The roof structure is comprised of collar beam trusses with queen struts. A wheeled mechanism, known as a twisting heads' was positioned at the eastern end of each walk, below a dormer. One remains in situ. Staggered vertical posts support carry horizontal rakes carrying loops of wire in their upper surfaces. Between these and the twisting heads run tensioned horizontal cables which support a bearer or cross' carrying lengths of yarn along the walk to a horizontal frame or spreader. One example remains in situ.
HISTORY: Rope and twine making were significant industries in C19 Somerset. The present works is thought to have developed between 1886 and 1902, and further extended by 1928. The works closed in 1968.
R.C.H.M.E. Report 1997. NBR No. 36552.
A near- complete example of a late C19 twine works, with surviving in-situ machinery and fittings which represent all stages of the manufacture and finishing of twine. The complex is thought to be the most complete example of its type surviving in England, and provides very clear evidence of both the manufacturing processes and the type of structures which characterised a significant regional industry in the late C19.
Listing NGR: ST5121713698
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.