The Levant Mine timeline

Situated in the St Just Mining District, the now-peaceful landscape of Levant was once a busy industrial area.

    1748

    Aerial view of surface workings, Levant Mine, Cornwall

    Levant Mine first appeared on Martyn’s Map, as an amalgamation of three other early mines: Zawn Brinney, Boscregan and Wheal Unity. Its location is remote, but deposits of tin and copper were rich.

    1820

    Black and white photo of Counthouse (c1910), Levant Mine, Wales

    Levant Mining Company was formed with a capital of £400. A group of 20 people were involved in the company, which was divided into 80 shares. It went on to become a great success – in one period of two months, it made £4,630.

    1836

    Copper dressing-floor c1890, Levant Mine, Cornwall

    By this time, 320 men, 44 women and 186 children were employed at the mine. Many of the women and children were involved in ‘dressing’ the ore: preparing it for sale.

    1840

    Flywheel of whim engine, Levant Mine, Cornwall

    Michell’s whim engine was made by Harvey’s of Hayle. Designed by Francis Michell, its purpose was to carry ore from the deep workings – some extending beneath the sea – to the surface.

    1857

    The man engine was installed. This aimed to make the transporting of miners up and down the workings faster and easier. Each day, miners changed into their work clothes in the Miners’ Dry (changing room) before walking down the tunnel to Man Engine Shaft.

    1919

    570m deep Skip Shaft at Levant Mine, Cornwall

    The Levant mining disaster. Thirty-one men were killed when a link between a rod and the man-engine snapped, sending the engine down the shaft. The engine was not repaired, and the deep levels were never worked again.

    1930

    Arsenic chimney at twilight, Levant Mine, Cornwall

    Levant Mine closed after losing large amounts of money. A major factor in this was that in the midst of an economic depression, the price of tin had dropped dramatically.

    1967

    View of the engine houses at Levant Mine, Cornwall

    Levant passed into the care of the National Trust. In the same year, the Trust also took on the care of East Pool Mine, near Redruth.

    1984-92

    Chris Quick, a member of the

    The whim engine was restored by a group of volunteers known as the ‘Greasy Gang’. A fundraising appeal was formally launched in September 1990 to generate the money needed for the work. Today, the engine can be seen in action as the last of its kind to work under steam in its original engine house.