Graffiti Locations

There are many locations in the Dockyard where you can see historical graffiti. There are also many locations in the Dockyard where you may miss lots of historical graffiti.

One of the prime locations is The Ropery and, in particular the south wall of the ropery!

A description of the Ropery contains the following details, depending where the information comes from:

  • Building dates from 1785 – 1791
  • engine house added c1836.
  • Red brick with grey headers, stone dressings and a slate valley roof
  • engine house English bond brick.

“History shows that it is known as a double ropery for combining ropelaying on the ground floor and spinning on the upper two floors.

“The building is over 1,100 feet long, rope being wound by twisting the strands together on a forming machine mounted on a wheeled carriage which ran back down the building.”


  Halfway down the east side of the ropery.

This area is very rich in military memorablia but does little to prepare you the delights round the corner at the end!

Section of the South Wall
Section of the South Wall
This part of the ropery nestles into a quiet corner near the southern end of the property and a couple of sets of stairs takes you down to the Anchor Wharf with its large storehouses.
However a closer look at this wall reveals the extent of the inscriptions available  for examination, and so often, completely passed by.
At times it is difficult to imagine what was going on in the area of this part of Kent when these inscriptions were being added to the walls but I hope to enlarge on this part of the research project as I go along.
Look a little closer, friend

Look a little closer, friend

A closer look at the previous photograph shows just how much additional data is visible and just how well it seems to have survived.
You could spend all day just marvelling at this wall which I always introduce to people as a “social document”.
I hope you will revisit these ‘posts’ from time to time as they will be updated as new information comes in.

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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Lovely post Brian. Very informative. Keep it going. I have a half decent picture of the “…forming machine mounted on a wheeled carriage”. Lets see if I can post it here –

  2. Nice thought, Alex, but I really want to keep this site for the ‘Graffiti Project’. I appreciate the photograph but, hey who knows, perhaps ‘Project No. 2’ could be born from this one? –

  3. Well done – great to know that someone cares. I was based as naval rating at the dockyard during my training & then again during the Falklands War (I was in the Info centre) Have just found out that my great grandmother Ann Chilton & her mother Caroline Hayman both worked in the Ropery & Spinning Dept from about 1850’s to at least 1911. They may have written on the wall! It you find their names please contact me. Thanx

    • Steve … many thanks for your interest and rest assured that I have added the names Ann Chilton and Caroline Hayman to my “Look for the following names” list. I shall also ask if there are records within the system about these two ladies. Regards Brian

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