A. Forsyth and Co. Ropeworks

A. Forsyth and Co. Ropeworks

Stage Number: MBSH.03.02.25

Group: Southern

Local Study Area: Kangaroo Point-East Brisbane

Epoch: Late 19th Century

Street Address: 65 Manilla Street, East Brisbane

Latitude & Longitude: -27.47922222,153.04241667

Time Link: 1876

Map Link: 1884

Image Time Point: 1884

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Archibald Forsyth and Co. Ropeworks opened on Lytton Road, East Brisbane, in 1876. Beginning with eight employees, Forsyth’s developed into an important business for the ships and boats transporting goods along the Brisbane River, and by the 1930s had a staff of 70 people. One type of rope made there was manilla rope, from which nearby Manilla Street takes its name. Ropewalk Lane, which runs behind that street, was the ropewalk area where long stretches of new rope were laid out. The nearby ‘Ropeworks Estate’ was developed in 1884, and even recent housing projects such as ‘Corde’ have taken inspiration from the history of the site.


The Queenslander, 2 August 1926; Martha Rutledge, ‘Forsyth, Archibald (1826–1908)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, published first in hardcopy 1972, (http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/forsyth-archibald-3555/text5493), sighted 20 July 2017.

Image Citations

Ropes on the back of a utility belonging to A. Forsyth & Co. Ltd. Rope Works in Brisbane, ca. 1925. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Record number: 170297.

Map References

QSA. QSA Series ID 2043 City of Brisbane and Suburbs Maps – A1A Series. 5 chains to the inch. City of Brisbane. 5 chains to the inch. Government Engraving, and Lithographic Office, Brisbane.. 634496