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Reynold's Ropeworks, Dungannon

Reynold's Ropeworks, Ulster American Folk Park collectionDuring the 1830s and 1840s, Richard Murray had a rope and twine making business in Irish Street, Dungannon. It was difficult to find premises for this activity, because it required a weatherproof building with one open side and at least one hundred yards of open ground along which the lengthening manufactured rope could be laid out.  

In expanding towns, the ropemaker’s property would gradually become enclosed by development.  This meant that on maps, the businesses would be clearly identifiable by a long undeveloped garden or strip of open ground, generally as narrow as the associated dwelling or shop which fronted the town street, and in some cases 300 yards long.

Richard Murray’s business in Irish Street, Dungannon, was taken over between 1846 and 1856 by David Reynolds. It would appear from trades directories that there was a break in production around the early 1850s – the period during which Richard Murray closed down and David Reynolds reopened the business. Reynolds continued to manufacture rope throughout the 1860s and into the 1870s. The remains of this very old shopfront were restored and rebuilt for inclusion in the museum's Ulster Street.

The original rope-making machinery associated with Dungannon rope works is displayed in the ropemaker’s shop.





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