Tyne and Wear HER(4856): Gateshead, Hillgate, Ropery (Haggie Brothers) - Details
Gateshead, Hillgate, Ropery (Haggie Brothers)
Rope Manufacturing Site
'Lawses Close and Ropery' is shown north-east of the Rectory on a pre-1771 plan of the Ellison estates. Leases of a ropery 'near the River Tyne', apparently in the vicinity of Laws Close occur at least as early as 1691. This was probably the ropery and ropewalk which is marked at the foot of the escarpment above the river on a 1746 map. Edward Softley, ropemaker, appears in Whitehead’s Trade Directory as working on the South Shore in the 1780s and 1790s. Rope making continued to be the dominant industry along this part of the riverside until the late 1830s. About 1800 Peter Haggie took over the existing ropery along what is now South Shore Road, later forming a partnership under the name of Haggie and Pollard, finally becoming known as Haggie Brothers. Haggie's Works, which in 1858 included a timber yard and saw mill beside Sculler Stairs at the east end of Hillgate and an open rope walk on the south side of South Shore Road, was one of the principal employers in Gateshead at this time.Before 1864 part of the saw mill was converted into a wire rope factory, and after a fire in 1884 the wire ropery was expanded. In 1918 a new wire drawing shop was built on part of the former Abbot Works. This began a move away from the riverside and by 1940 the quayside was cleared of buildings. The company became part of British Ropes in 1926, and manufacture on the former Abbot's site continued under the name of Bridon Ropes until the 1980s.
<< HER 4856 >> Documentary T. Oliver, 1831, A Perambulatory Survey in A picture of Newcastle upon Tyne, pp 137-138 Thomas Oliver, 1831 Northern Counties Archaeological Services, 1998, Gateshead Regional Music Centre, Archaeological Desk Top Assessment Thompson, 1746, A Plan of Newcastle upon Tyne Whitehead, 1782, Directory of Newcastle upon Tyne and Gateshead Whitehead, 1790, Directory of Newcastle upon Tyne and Gateshead