Details

  • Start: pendeen
  • End: pendeen
  • Country: England
  • County: Cornwall
  • Type: Beach
  • Nearest pub: Geevor Mine; cafés and pubs in Pendeen including North Inn 01736 788417
  • Ordnance Survey: OS Explorer 102
  • Difficulty: Medium
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Description

As well as stunning coastal scenery, this walk has a wealth of evocative and poignant industrial history, writes Robert Hesketh


Mine of

information

As well as stunning coastal scenery, this walk has a wealth of evocative and poignant industrial history, writes Robert Hesketh

photographs by ROBERT HESKETH

Boots on? Lets go!

1 From Pendeen lighthouse, take the Coast Path east (Zennor). Bear left onto a track and follow it down towards a group of fishermens sheds. Just before these, follow the Coast Path uphill via waymarks and zigzags towards Portheras Cove. Above the cove, follow the first waymark downhill, then after 100m turn sharp right uphill at the next waymark. Climb steadily until opposite a granite ruin on the far bank. Turn right and climb steeply for 40m, then bear left and uphill to a spidery metal gate and stone stile. Follow the enclosed path to Portheras Farm.

2 Turn left in the farmyard and leave by the surfaced lane. After only 50m, turn right over a stile. Keep the wall on your left for 100m; cross a stile on your left, then almost immediately one on your right. Go through a small gate past a barn conversion to a track. Turn left and 20m ahead, fork right. Cross a minor road and head up to a surfaced lane into the former mining village of Lower Boscaswell. Ignore all side turnings until you come to a broad space at the far side of the village.

3 Turn left towards Geevor Mines Victory Shaft headgear. Keep left and follow the footpath into the overflow parking area. Head to the left of the mine complex. Follow the reception signs a visit (see below for opening times) is highly recommended. There is a great deal to see on the 67-acre site, so allow plenty of time.

As well as the buildings, such as the processing mill, compressor and winder house, Geevor has extensive museum collections, including minerals, period photographs, artefacts and tools. Be sure not to miss the underground tour, in which very well informed guides share their mining experiences with visitors. Also highly evocative is the miners dry, left as it was the day the mine closed in 1990 with the miners clothes and belongings.

Geevor gives a vivid impression of what hard rock mining was like. All the same, it takes considerable imagination to picture just how harsh working conditions were, especially in the early days of the industry, when unremitting physical labour deep below the sea was made much more onerous by heat, poor ventilation, fumes from explosives and the candles that provided what little lighting there was.

Continue past the mine shop. There are several paths to Levant Mine. The simplest is to turn right, signposted Public Footpath Levant, cross a stile and follow a broad track through the mine complex to the Coast Path. Turn left and continue to Levant Mine (details below).

4 Levant Mine is also well worth visiting. Again, the guided tour is highly informative. It includes watching the 1840 beam engine work under steam and a visit to the main engine. This lift was the scene of a tragic accident in 1919 in which 32 miners were killed and many more injured.

After visiting Levant Mine, follow the waymarked Coast Path back to Pendeen Lighthouse. First lit in 1900, Pendeen was automated in 1995. Standing 17m (56ft) on top of the cliff it has a range of 16 nautical miles. n


A Mine of information



As well as stunning coastal scenery, this walk has a wealth of evocative and poignant industrial history, writes Robert Hesketh


Photographs by ROBERT HESKETH


Information:


Distance: 6.6km (4 miles)
Time: 2 hours
Exertion: Moderate.
Start/parking: Pendeen Lighthouse, SW 380359.
Terrain: Coastpath, footpaths, quiet lanes. One steep, but not long ascent. Mine workings are potentially hazardous: please keep to paths and heed warning signs.
Child/dog friendly: Suitable for older children and dogs on leads.
Map: OS Explorer 102; Landranger 203; Harveys SWCP 3.
Refreshments: Geevor Mine; cafs and pubs in Pendeen including North Inn 01736 788417 and Radjel Inn 01736 788446
Public Transport: Daily buses from Penzance 0871 2002233 www.travelinesw.com
More information: Levant Mine (National Trust) Open 11-5 Sunday to Friday until 2 November. Guided and self-guided tours. 01736 796993 www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ levant-mine Geevor Mine Open Sunday to Friday 9-5 to end October and 9-4 in winter. Underground tours, special events. 01736 788662 www.geevor.com


Boots on? Lets go!


1 From Pendeen lighthouse, take the Coast Path east (Zennor). Bear left onto a track and follow it down towards a group of fishermens sheds. Just before these, follow the Coast Path uphill via waymarks and zigzags towards Portheras Cove. Above the cove, follow the first waymark downhill, then after 100m turn sharp right uphill at the next waymark. Climb steadily until opposite a granite ruin on the far bank. Turn right and climb steeply for 40m, then bear left and uphill to a spidery metal gate and stone stile. Follow the enclosed path to Portheras Farm.
2 Turn left in the farmyard and leave by the surfaced lane. After only 50m, turn right over a stile. Keep the wall on your left for 100m; cross a stile on your left, then almost immediately one on your right. Go through a small gate past a barn conversion to a track. Turn left and 20m ahead, fork right. Cross a minor road and head up to a surfaced lane into the former mining village of Lower Boscaswell. Ignore all side turnings until you come to a broad space at the far side of the village.
3 Turn left towards Geevor Mines Victory Shaft headgear. Keep left and follow the footpath into the overflow parking area. Head to the left of the mine complex. Follow the reception signs a visit (see below for opening times) is highly recommended. There is a great deal to see on the 67-acre site, so allow plenty of time.As well as the buildings, such as the processing mill, compressor and winder house, Geevor has extensive museum collections, including minerals, period photographs, artefacts and tools. Be sure not to miss the underground tour, in which very well informed guides share their mining experiences with visitors. Also highly evocative is the miners dry, left as it was the day the mine closed in 1990 with the miners clothes and belongings.Geevor gives a vivid impression of what hard rock mining was like. All the same, it takes considerable imagination to picture just how harsh working conditions were, especially in the early days of the industry, when unremitting physical labour deep below the sea was made much more onerous by heat, poor ventilation, fumes from explosives and the candles that provided what little lighting there was.Continue past the mine shop. There are several paths to Levant Mine. The simplest is to turn right, signposted Public Footpath Levant, cross a stile and follow a broad track through the mine complex to the Coast Path. Turn left and continue to Levant Mine (details below).
4 Levant Mine is also well worth visiting. Again, the guided tour is highly informative. It includes watching the 1840 beam engine work under steam and a visit to the main engine. This lift was the scene of a tragic accident in 1919 in which 32 miners were killed and many more injured.After visiting Levant Mine, follow the waymarked Coast Path back to Pendeen Lighthouse. First lit in 1900, Pendeen was automated in 1995. Standing 17m (56ft) on top of the cliff it has a range of 16 nautical miles.


Points of Interest




  • Stunning coastal scenery.

  • Levant Engine House and Geevor Mine, both open to the public.

  • Wealth of industrial remains.

  • Pendeen Lighthouse



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