Levant Mine and Beam EngineView map
Restored after 60 years by the Greasy Gang
hat do the Taj Mahal, The Great Wall of China and Levant Mine in Cornwall have in common? They’re all UNESCO World Heritage sites (yep, really).
But before you get a bit sniffy about Cornwall’s 18th century Levant quarry, take a look: the landscape really does live up to its heritage status.
Where once the cliffs reverberated with the sound of drilling, you’ll now find peace, quiet and the odd wildflower poking through. Wander along to nearby Botallack and you can see the engine houses clinging precariously to the cliffs.
In one of these lies the famous Levant engine, restored by the so-called “Greasy Gang“ – a group of enthusiasts who occasionally fire her up on “steaming days”.
However, it’s what happened underground that’s really important. Levant reaches a depth of 600 metres and was given the nickname ‘mine under the sea’, as it extended out under the seabed.
You can get a taster of what working underground felt (and smelled) like with a tour of the dry tunnels. As long as you’re not scared of the dark, that is.