Dicing with death by mining under the sea

Levant mine

It’s about a 30-minute walk along the coastal path from Botallack to Levant Mine, both National Trust gems. As we walked through the rough terrain picking our way through the rocks and bolders, gazing out to the sea that even on a bright day looked menacing and threatening, we could imagine ourselves back in the days of Ross Poldark. 


Levant Mine


Levant’s claim to fame is based on it’s working beam engine that visitors can see and hear building up steam and turning the wheels that once upon a time would lift the miners up and down to the mine. Levant Mine is not only deep but it extends way out to sea often taking the miners an hour and a half to walk to the seam they were working. Carrying all their equipment in temperatures of over 30 degrees, mining was not an easy choice of career.

Exploring Levant Mine

Levant Mine


  1. Tunnel to the Man Engine
  2. Iconic wheel
  3. Cage to carry the miners
  4. Poldark merchandise 
  5. Steak pasty

The popular series Poldark is filmed here and in other areas around Cornwall so it is not surprising to see merchandise available to buy. A must on the tourist itinerary is also eating a pasty and these were utterly delicious and piping hot.

Another special aspect of the mine was it’s Man Engine. The little diagram explains how it worked and when it was installed it revolutionised things, reducing the time it took to get to the mine considerably. 


Man engine animation.gif
By BergbauKunstAnimation.gif: Paul Lenz
derivative work: Smalljim (talk) – BergbauKunstAnimation.gif, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6798097


Sadly, there was an accident October 1919 killing many miners when the wooden structure collapsed down the shaft. It was never repaired and the lower levels were never worked again. The whole enterprise closed in 1930 after the price of tin plummeted in the depression. What was left was an amazing story set in a stunning landscape!

Levant Mine Levant Mine









100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups

This week’s prompt is set in this atmospheric environment. I was very taken by the steps that wound their way to sea level to get to the mouth of the mine. Can you see them? Imagine a very high and steep cliff face.Levant Mine

Women and children, as well as men, would go up and down these steps to eke out a living.

The prompt this week is:

…would this be the day when life changed…

The link will close on 10th October

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