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Abandoned Beam Engine Houses at Botallack
Botallack | © National Trust Images/ Paul Barker

Levant to Botallack and Higher Bal walk

Enjoy a walk along the South West Coast Path, where you'll see the remains of two of Cornwall's 'champion mines', Levant and Botallack. A century on and life is very different here, but as you walk along the coast path you'll get a sense of just how great a mining industry this area once was.

High cliffs

This is an area of high cliffs with unguarded drops and mine shafts, so please take extra care.

Total steps: 10

Total steps: 10

Start point

Levant Mine and Beam Engine car park, grid ref: SW368346

Step 1

Begin at Levant car park, next to Boscregan Shaft, Levant Mine. The walk follows the coast path towards Botallack for just over 1 mile (1.6km) to Botallack Mine (Wheal Cock section).

Step 2

The circular walls that you can see at Botallack Mine are modern safety features that mark the tops of disused mine shafts. Turn right at the first shaft, on your immediate left are the stone walls that mark the site of the miners changing house or dry. Follow the route to the left to the circular wall around the collar of Skip Shaft. Return to the path and continue to the triangulation pillar. Carry on towards the ruined chimney stack. This path brings you back to the main track: turn right, follow the track for roughly 76yd (70m) and then, at the coast path marker stone, follow the path to the right (marked St Just 1½ miles). This will take you past the 1906 tin-dressing floors and arsenic works.

Step 3

Beyond the tin-dressing floors, above the path, are the remains of a square building with a distinctive archway in buff-coloured brickwork. This was a Brunton calciner, and was the starting point for the extraction of arsenic from Botallack ores during the 1906-1914 re-working. By a fingerpost below the stack a pathway leaves the coast path sharply to the right and offers a route down to the Crowns Engine Houses.

Step 4

From the Crowns Engine Houses, return to the main coast path and head for the two prominent engine houses ahead. The one beyond the burrows, immediately to the left of the path, is the engine house of West Wheal Owles, while the more ruined one on the right is the stamps engine house of Wheal Edward.

Step 5

With the engine house of Wheal Edward on your immediate right, take the path that turns sharply back on your left. Keep following the main track (part of the old tramway). When you reach the car track from Botallack village, turn left and head back towards the Count House.

Step 6

From the Count House, follow the main track back towards Levant.

Step 7

At the top of the rise, just before Roscommon House, turn right at the footpath sign, ducking under the metal barrier and walk north north-east for about 55yd (50m) then follow the hedge line before crossing the field to the stone stile in the opposite corner. You should be heading for the ruined stack that marks the site of Nineveh shaft.

Step 8

Nineveh shaft was part of the Carnyorth section of Botallack mine. Climb over the stile into the next field and, keeping the wall line on your right. Climb over a wooden stile and, again keeping the wall on your right, walk towards Nineveh cottages.

Step 9

At Foxglove Barn turn left and walk across the front of the house. With Nineveh Cottage ahead climb over the stone stile on your left. Walk about 33yd (30m) north by west then turn right through the open gateway, walk 55yd (50m) north-east, climb the wooden stile into the lane. Turn left and follow the lane into Levant Road. Ahead of you is a ruined engine house, this is Higher Bal.

Step 10

On reaching Higher Bal, take care if you're exploring here as there are some unguarded drops. Return to the road, then turn right to follow Levant Road back to the car park.

End point

Levant Mine and Beam Engine car park, grid ref: SW368346

Trail map

Map route for Levant to Botallack and Higher Bal walk
Map route for Levant to Botallack and Higher Bal walk | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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Get in touch

Trewellard, Pendeen, near St Just, Cornwall, TR19 7SX

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