Listing verified as genuine
Posted on 14th January 2018 / 305
Industry Type : Textiles, Manufacturing
Public or Private Site? : Public Access
Condition : Partially Restored

Dawe’s Twineworks, West Coker, is one of the most complete surviving examples of a twine making site in England

– with its original Victorian machinery!

Dawe’s Twineworks has origins dating back over 600 years. It was built in 1895 on the site of an earlier rope or twine walk and closed in 1968. Its machinery and fittings represents all stages of the manufacture and finishing of twine and Coker Sailcloth.

Flax and hemp industries, such as twine, rope and sailcloth, flourished in the Age of Sail. ‘Coker Canvas’ was the Royal Navy’s premium sailcloth! The ‘Lower Oolite Cornbrash’ of Dorset and Somerset is ideal for growing flax and hemp and 5 roperies were established in West Coker alone!

Dawe’s was the smallest of 5 twineworks in West Coker!

The process required a lot of water and 2 huge underground tanks are concealed on site. One, with a vaulted brick rook, can be viewed through a glass panel in the floor of the archive building!

Before manufactories such as Dawe’s, the preparation of yarn for ropes was achieved on spinning wheels.

South Somerset District Council made a compulsory purchase in 2005 to save the buildings which were then close to collapse. The Coker Rope & Sail Trust, set up under the auspices of West Coker Parish Council, now has a 125 year lease on the site. In recent years the Trust has managed with local effort to restore parts of the building and machinery, install an engine and bring Dawe’s back to life.

Numerous grants a partnerships have enabled the site to be saved; not least a friendship with the Carpenter’s Fellowship, who restore one building at a time.

In 2015, the Coker Rope & Sail Trust received a whopping £400k lottery grant to make things tidy! The aim is to increase opening from the current 1 or 2 days each month to 3 days each week from Spring 2018 – and provide a coffee shop!

New oak posts have transformed the appearance of the 100m ropewalk, and the ‘new’ 23Hp stationary engine turns the Victorian machinery. They have a 1927 Shanks diesel engine, made in Arbroath and rescued from a farm, lent by Phil Upshall. It’s very similar to the Twineworks’ original diesel which was sold when the works closed in 1968.

It is currently open to visitors on the 4th Saturday of each month from 10 to 4, and at other times on request.

The site can assist researchers with inquiries about the building and the history of the industry. Please contact the site for more information – HERE!

 

 

Dawe’s Twineworks is located next to 94 High Street, West Coker, Yeovil, Somerset, BA22 9AU

Dawe’s Twineworks

Dawe’s Twineworks, West Coker, is one of the most complete surviving examples of a twine making site in England

– with its original Victorian machinery!

Dawe’s Twineworks has origins dating back over 600 years. It was built in 1895 on the site of an earlier rope or twine walk and closed in 1968. Its machinery and fittings represents all stages of the manufacture and finishing of twine and Coker Sailcloth.

Flax and hemp industries, such as twine, rope and sailcloth, flourished in the Age of Sail. ‘Coker Canvas’ was the Royal Navy’s premium sailcloth! The ‘Lower Oolite Cornbrash’ of Dorset and Somerset is ideal for growing flax and hemp and 5 roperies were established in West Coker alone!

Dawe’s was the smallest of 5 twineworks in West Coker!

The process required a lot of water and 2 huge underground tanks are concealed on site. One, with a vaulted brick rook, can be viewed through a glass panel in the floor of the archive building!

Before manufactories such as Dawe’s, the preparation of yarn for ropes was achieved on spinning wheels.

South Somerset District Council made a compulsory purchase in 2005 to save the buildings which were then close to collapse. The Coker Rope & Sail Trust, set up under the auspices of West Coker Parish Council, now has a 125 year lease on the site. In recent years the Trust has managed with local effort to restore parts of the building and machinery, install an engine and bring Dawe’s back to life.

Numerous grants a partnerships have enabled the site to be saved; not least a friendship with the Carpenter’s Fellowship, who restore one building at a time.

In 2015, the Coker Rope & Sail Trust received a whopping £400k lottery grant to make things tidy! The aim is to increase opening from the current 1 or 2 days each month to 3 days each week from Spring 2018 – and provide a coffee shop!

New oak posts have transformed the appearance of the 100m ropewalk, and the ‘new’ 23Hp stationary engine turns the Victorian machinery. They have a 1927 Shanks diesel engine, made in Arbroath and rescued from a farm, lent by Phil Upshall. It’s very similar to the Twineworks’ original diesel which was sold when the works closed in 1968.

It is currently open to visitors on the 4th Saturday of each month from 10 to 4, and at other times on request.

The site can assist researchers with inquiries about the building and the history of the industry. Please contact the site for more information – HERE!

 

 

Dawe’s Twineworks is located next to 94 High Street, West Coker, Yeovil, Somerset, BA22 9AU

Dawe’s Twineworks
Industry Type : Textiles, Manufacturing
Public or Private Site? : Public Access
Condition : Partially Restored
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