Levant Mine and Beam Engine Cornwall
The Levant Tin Mine, is situated about half way between St Just and St Ives close to Pendeen village is part of the Cornwall and West Devon Mining World Heritage Site. The site and engine is now owned and managed by the National Trust in Cornwall.
Many of the original buildings on the site where demolished following the mines closure enabling the recovery of much of the machinery. The original engine house and the steam engine have been rebuilt.
You can see a unique steam-powered Cornish beam engine in action after being idle for 60 years.
The Lelant Steam Engine is the only Cornish beam engine anywhere in the world that is still in steam at a tin and copper mine.
There are short underground tours through the miners’ dry tunnel, and the winding and pumping shafts are also on view, as is a restored electric winding engine.
A short walk along the cliffs will take you to Botallack Mine (NT), with its famous cliff-clinging engine houses and historical displays in the Count House Workshop; in the other direction is Geevor mine (not NT) and a mining museum.
Currently, the engine is operated at times throughout the year. It is a wonderful experience to attend when the engine is running. The engine that survives at Levant, and is operated today, was designed in 1840 by Francis Mitchell and built by Harvey’s Foundry in Hayle. It wound ore up from Skip Shaft at a speed of 400 feet per minute.
The mine goes down 260+ fathoms (1 fathom equals 6 feet) and stretches over 1.5 miles out and under the sea.
Geevor and Levant mines both succumbed to the collapse in the price of tin in 1985 and closed in 1991, both mines are now flooded to sea level.