The old Levant mine site was very extensive, and also very picturesque, perched as it was above the sea. The site was open for tours on some days, but being still in the ‘winter’ season, they weren’t too frequent here.
Back then, the old miners weren’t there to enjoy the scenery. Their twelve hour shifts didn’t start until they started working their shaft. If the shaft was a hundred metres or more underground, then it would have taken two hours or so to get down there. Added to that was the fact their accommodation each night was as far away as St Ives, almost 20km away, which they walked in the freezing cold. The miners were lucky to get four hours sleep per night. No wonder their average age was around forty. It’s a wonder they lived that long given the hard lives they led.
In the distance we could see Pendeen Watch, the lighthouse on the next headland. The Coast Path winds its way through all of this coastline. In fact, it starts on the north coast of the peninsula in Minehead, Somerset, and ends on the south coast in Poole, Dorset – 1013km or 630 miles! That’s a lot of coastline. Throw in the everchanging British weather, and the undulating coastline, and the mud, it’s a wonder that it attracts the thousands of visitors that it does. But the British do love their walks, and the stunning scenery and the (comparatively) mild climate are major drawcards as far as they are concerned.
Closer to Pendeen village, and a kilometre inland, is the newer Geevor Mine. We’ll go there tomorrow.