Belper ropemaker William Kirkland began his business c.1835, operating initially from Long Row, then on a strip of land between Field Lane and Joseph Street until 1899. The long, thin strip of land was ideal for twisting together long lengths of yarn into rope.
William’s son Frederick William Kirkland (pictured) was a ropemaker and music teacher in 1891, perhaps helping his father out part-time when he could. He was a music teacher and tobacconist by 1899 but then became a full-time rope and twine manufacturer by 1903, continuing at least until 1922.
Today the Ropewalk is the name of the channel by the railway cutting – it runs across the top of Kirkland’s ropewalk, between Joseph Street and Field Lane.