This photograph shows a rope making machine which belonged to Edward Shillito and Son who were rope and twine manufacturers in Epworth. They are listed in Whites History, Gazetteer and Directory for Lincolnshire in 1872. There was a rich history in rope and twine manufacture across the Isle of Axholme. There were manufacturers in most of the villages which make up the Isle. Evidence of the retting pits can still be seen in the fields that surround Haxey and Crowle. This can be seen in crop markings. Flax would have been soaked in the retting pits before being processed and woven. It is believed in some of the villages this may have been done on a large scale.
Image courtesy of North Lincolnshire Museum service.