The Levant Mine

The site of the Levant Mine is truly splendid, perched as it is on the edge of the Atlantic coast in the south-west. Man has mined here since the Bronze Age. A copper mine was around in 1670 followed by the profitable tin mine in 1850. It was one of the top ten mines in Cornwall and shafts were sunk deeper and further under the sea. It was finally closed in 1930 partially brought about through the Man Engine* disaster in 1919.


The Levant Beam Engine is still steamed up on selected days from April to October and guided tours of the site are available or you can do a self-guided trail. The site is under the control of the National Trust.

The Miner’s Dry is the site of the former washrooms and the tunnel to the Man Engine is at the bottom of the spiral staircase in the corner. It was here that a man ran in 1919 crying out “the engine’s gone!” Continue reading The Levant Mine

Cornish Engine Houses

If you have ever visited Cornwall, or if you have watched Poldark, then you will be aware that the county is littered with the remains of abandoned engine houses and chimney stacks. It would be remiss of me not to show some of these, though I didn’t venture down the one open to the public (Geevor Mine above) as I suffer from mild claustrophobia and can’t stand being in the dark.

The engine houses were built to provide a framework for the steam-pumping engine and more beam engines were installed in Cornwall and west Devon than any other mining region of the world: it is thought that around 3,000 engine houses were built in total to house them of which 200 still remain. They stand adjacent to where the main mine shafts were and provide one of the most distinctive displays of industrial buildings anywhere in the world.


Near Pendeen
Near Pendeen

The strength and size of the structures, usually built out of local stone and granite with brick detailing over the windows, arches and topmost chimney stack, is the principle reason that so many have survived. They are quite appealing to a photographer, but beware of getting too close as there might be a danger of falling stonework, hidden holes and stones and deep drops.

And of course they often provide an excellent subject for a silhouette.

Five Photos, Five Stories: Day 2

I’ve been invited to take part in the “Five Photos, Five Stories” challenge by Alison of Scene by Minerva. The challenge is quite simply to “post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or a short paragraph and each day nominate another blogger for the challenge”.

My five photos are going to depict what I love about Cornwall. The light, the colours, the coast, the history.

Wheal Coates
The Towanroath pumping engine house at Wheal Coates Copper and Tin Mine

The miners dug deep
Searching for copper and tin
On Cornwall’s rich coast

(please click image to enlarge)

My nomination today is Carol of The Eternal Traveller who writes about her travels at home in Australia and beyond.  Absolutely no requirement to join in, only if you want to.