Stair rope with eye splice and turks head whipping from, UK.
Made to measure in the U.K. Shipped Worldwide.

Rope Handrails, Bannister & Barrier Ropes

Using traditional knotting techniques and tools, we work with a range of top quality ropes and designed-for-purpose rope railing supports, to offer a uniquely bespoke product. Our rope bannisters are beautifully made, functional and long lasting.

Hemp 32mm rope,stainless steel fittings,eye splices

image: M.M., Coventry, UK

Ropes, Fittings & Knots

Four strand, hard-laid Ropes in 24mm and 32mm diameters (equiv. 1 & 1½ inch) are used with solid Fittings manufactured to our own design in a choice of English Brass, Marine grade Stainless Steel or locally made Wrought Iron. Skilfully tied end Knots, Eye Splices, decorative Plaiting or Tassel Ends complete the process creating a premium Rope handrail to suit your style and specifications.

We can liaise at all stages of the project with you or via your fitter, architect or designer. Please feel free to contact us if you need any more information or would like rope samples.

Your stair rope will arrive ready to install with endings neatly finished and fittings in place. Wall screws, rawl plugs and installation guidelines are included.

Testimonials and images of our bannister ropes and handrails in situ, spanning many years can be found on the customers pages.

hemp bannister rope with brass fittings on corner

hemp bannister rope with brass fittings

Solutions for Stairways

A ROPE BANNISTER OR HANDRAIL that uses a well-made rope and is properly knotted, provides a strong handhold, makes an original feature on any staircase, hallway or corridor, and presents a solution for many stairways where conventional handrails are not appropriate.

Check out our guide to measuring up for a stair rope handrail, and find information on ropes, fittings, knots and more in this detailed f.a.q.s page.
Order your bannister rope securely - with a credit or debit card and payment through Paypal, or via a bank transfer - for which we offer a small discount to UK customers.

hemp rope rail with gunmetal finish wrought iron brackets and 2 ply manrope knot

Hemp rope rail with 2 ply Manrope Knot

Natural Rope

NATURAL FIBRE ROPE HANDRAILS complement both classic and contemporary interior settings. Our hemp and cotton stair ropes are firm and comfortable in the hand and very hard wearing.

These are four strand ropes with a central core and they are particularly suitable for rope handrails. Their method of construction enables a harder lay (tighter twist) than is possible with the more widely produced three strand ropes: more strands even out the bumps on the rope, and the core ensures the rope retains its round profile.

We offer natural ropes for handrails in hemp, unbleached white or black cotton.
See more: Natural ropes.

POSH 32mm rope,brass fittings,crown plaits

image: D.P., Highbury, Australia

Synthetic Rope

SYNTHETIC ROPES are often used for outdoor rope railings, as they are typically more weather resistant than natural ropes. We recommend the exceptional qualities of Spun Polyester POSH rope for ultimate durability and looks.

Extensively used for the rigging on classic and period ships, POSH ropes are particularly long lasting, being almost totally resistant to rot from moisture (the enemy of natural fibre ropes). An in-built u.v. inhibitor protects against degradation by sunlight (the enemy of synthetic ropes). We supply synthetic rope as an alternative to natural hemp in 32mm POSH. Polyester ropes are available in the colours navy, black and green.
See more: Synthetic ropes.

cotton wound with hemp rope bannister

Cotton rope bannister wound with hemp

Wound Rope

HAND MADE WOUND ROPES can be used to create a more decorative effect for handrails and rope bannisters.

Once upon a time, a natural fibre rope would have been wound - or traditionally, "wormed" with cord, wrapped in canvas and tarred as protection on the high seas. The idea for our decorative wound ropes originally came from the first winding of the cords around a thicker rope core. They feature a combination of contrasting colours and textures. Multi strand ropes are available in a choice of natural and synthetic materials in various colour combinations.
See more: Wound ropes

English Brass fitting for rope railing

English Brass fitting for Rope Handrails

Fittings for Rope Handrails

OUR STAIR ROPE FITTINGS are exclusive to and available in English Brass, Marine-grade Stainless Steel and Wrought Iron. They are particularly robust and feature a solid one-piece post and a substantial stem thickness.

The brackets we supply are manufactured to our own design and specification - with the purpose of providing strong and elegant supports for our rope handrails and bannister ropes. fittings have a centre retaining screw to secure the rope, and four points of attachment to the wall at the base plate.

Wrought iron custom fitting for rope railing

Wrought iron custom fitting

English solid brass fittings come polished and un-lacquered. Marine grade stainless steel brackets are available in brushed satin or polished mirror finish and are particularly suited to outdoor environments.

Heavy duty wrought iron brackets are custom made here in Sheffield and can be ordered in a range of finishes, base plate shapes and stem lengths - or for ultimate space saving, no stems at all. Finishes include satin black, gun-metal, brushed or hammered steel and antique brass.
See more: Stair rope fittings.

Manrope knot and Eye splice on hemp rope railing

Manrope knot and Eye splice on hemp rope railing

Knots & Splices

THE MANROPE KNOT is a stopper knot traditionally tied in to the end of a rope railing - or Manrope, on ships.

This attractive stopper knot is tied using the unlaid strands of the rope and - when soundly tied, provides a very secure and durable ending for a rope which is to be used for support, such as on a stairway. We offer two ply or larger three ply versions of the traditional Manrope Knot for all our stair ropes.

POSH rope wound with cotton with matthew walker tassel

POSH Rope wound with cotton and Matthew Walker Tassel

An Eye Splice can be tied in to the rope as an alternative and safe ending for a rope handrail - especially useful where there is limited space. The eye splice in the image has been worked around a custom made wrought iron fitting with a reduced stem height, and finished with a Turks Head whipping.

More decorative endings include crown plait and manrope knots and tassels in various designs. These drop down beyond the fitting and are made from the same integral rope strands.
See more: Knots & splices.

Outdoor rope handrail project

Outdoor rope handrail project

Rope projects and advice

With a comprehensive range of materials, proficient knotting skills and practical knowledge in the field of ropes and cordage, can offer advice on designs for both interior and exterior applications.

Often we can find or make up just the right type of rope for a special project, supply a custom made fitting to go on an oddly shaped wall, or advise on and tie a particular knot or splice for a rope ending to suit an unusual situation.

Barrier Rope in POSH with antique brass fittings

Barrier rope in 32mm POSH with antique brass fittings

Barrier ropes

We also make barrier ropes to measure using our 24mm or 32mm plain or wound ropes, fitted with end hooks and wall eye-plates in a choice of finishes.

To ensure a safe and long lasting barrier rope, we use a traditional sailor's palm and needle whipping which is sewn in at each end of the rope before attaching the fittings. This is not common practice for barrier ropes as it takes time and skill to do, but provides the strongest method possible for securing barrier rope fittings. You can find out more information on the techniques we use on our Barrier ropes page.


We are established family U.K. business and have been trading since 1994. Originally from Cornwall, we moved to Sheffield, South Yorkshire in 2015 where we are now based. Our made-to-measure rope bannisters, barrier ropes and decorative knotwork products are shipped world wide. See what some of our satisfied clients have to say below and on our customers pages.

hemp rope handrail on stairway

Hemp bannister rope
image: B Hoveling, NYC, U.S.A.


From B. H. in NY, USA:
Hi James,
Well, I finally got around to installing your outstanding stair rope...the rope works beautifully and is a wonderful addition to the old stairwell and admired by all onlookers.

From N. V., London:
That's brilliant. Thanks, James. I really am very grateful for, and impressed by, the excellent service that you have provided. I shall spread the word !
The ropes are absolutely first class, and we are delighted with your workmanship.

Wound cotton stair rope with antique brass finished wrought iron fittings

Wound Cotton stair rope
image: R.Z.,Torquay UK

From C. B. D. I. in London
Dear Mr.Watson,
I just wanted to drop you a line to say thank you so much for all your help with the Stair Rope that you provided for us. It has been fitted in at the house and our client is thrilled.
Thank you again and I hope we can work with you again in the future.

From S. H. in France:
Hi James,
...arrived a few days ago - looks amazing, we are delighted...Thanks very much! We'll be sure to pass on your contact to anyone who asks!

From I. W. in Barmouth, North Wales:
Delighted .. a first class job .. I have taken it outside to the intended stone wall and staircase .. it will be perfect and looks just right.
The brackets really look good too .. your man has my thanks also.
Thanks again.

Hemp rope handrails with hammered finish iron fittings and crown plait endings

Hemp rope handrails
East Church, Cromarty Historic Parish Church, Scotland

From Mr and Mrs. T. in Macclesfield, Cheshire:
Have just fixed them up and they look great. Fantastic quality and superb service was provided by yourself, well worth every penny
Thanks again.

From M. S. in Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex:
James, ...just what we were looking for. Thanks for your prompt attention to this order and we hope we will get the chance to recommend you to others for such a class product.
Many thanks

24mm hemp bannister rope with manrope knots and wrought iron fittings

Hemp bannister rope
image: Anne Mellenthin Design, Atherton, California.

From J. R. in Banbury, Oxon:
Hi James... magnificent!
An incredibly efficient and easy purchase, thank you. All the best

From V. B. in Gloucester:
Dear James,
Your beautiful rope arrived...Many thanks for all your e-mails and advice. We will certainly recommend you if anyone asks, and there are sure to be some.

Contact Stair

rope handrail with nautical lamp

For more advice or information about our bannister ropes and rope handrails, you can contact James Watson directly.
Full details on our contact page.

stair rope nautical theme

Photographs of rope handrails in situ, taken at the Marina Hotel, Fowey, Cornwall

Nautical Rope Accessories

Nautical Inspired Rope Gifts and Accessories for the home by  Stonk Knots

rope towel ring in POSH with hemp turks head whipping monkey first rope curtain tie-back in hemp Stonk Knots showing star knot tassel light-pull in cotton and hemp mix natural fibre ropes monkey fist knotted handle in cotton rope on chrome fitting crown plait rope light-pull in cotton

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