Dawes Twine Works: Links with the Battle of Trafalgar

The Dawes Twine Works at West Coker

The Dawes Twine Works at West Coker

First published in News by

ROPES made at the historic Dawes Twine Works in West Coker are believed to have used on the ships of Admiral Nelson’s victorious fleet at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.

The building complete is of exceptional historical interest and one of the most complete representatives of the area’s once-substantial flax and hemp spinning and weaving industry.

The natural conditions in South Somerset made it suitable for growing flax and hemp and the establishment of the manufacture of rope, twines, webbing, netting and sailcloth.

The industry flourished from the 17th century when government incentives encouraged British sailcloth production.

By the 19th century there were as many as 40 sailcloth, rope and twine makers in Somerset and West Coker and surrounding villages were important centres for cottage-based production of sailcloth before the development of factory-based production in Crewkerne, Merriott and Castle Cary from the 1830s onwards.

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