Scarborough's dozen shipyards required rope and sail cloth for the hundreds of vessels built here. Rope Walk can be seen on this old map below and is now a row of houses in part of Castle Road. Sail cloth was 'bleached' in Bleaching House Lane, now Westbourne Grove and laid to dry on the slopes of the Valley. Sail cloth was sewn in 'Sail lofts' on the seafront (see image below)
On the 1823 map of Scarborough we can see a 'Rope Walk' where Castle Road is now. This was a long indoor shed where hemp was twisted together in long lengths to make various thicknesses of rope for holding the masts and rigging, for hauling the sails up or holding the anchor.
A first rate man of war required 180,000 lb of rough hemp for the rope. Rope to pull the sails up was called a sheet and halyards pulled and held the yard arms up, the cross beams that the square sails hung from.
It is thought that an average of 5 acres of land produced a ton of hemp. Thus, a man of war consumed a year’s produce of 424 acres of land to furnish its necessary tackle.