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Tin and Arsenic
Apologies if this post popped into your inbox again - it's been sitting here live ever since I originally posted it last August! Wondering if it's a feed burner glitch? Don't you just love technology?! I hope it doesn't go through reposting all my other blog posts! Lovely memories of sunny days and blue skies though especially as it's cold and rainy here in Manchester! Helen 18.5.15
Perched on the cliff top at Pendeen in in Cornwall stands old historic Levant Mine.
The dramatic landscape is dotted with ruins and hint at the tin and copper mining industry which stretched way back over 3500 years to the Bronze Age. It's difficult to imagine that technologies developed here at this now deserted and windswept location transformed mining across the globe.
Although industry faded away here decades ago following a tragic mining disaster, the National Trust manages part of what remains as a heritage site and allows us a glimpse into the past. With a sheer drop on one side - and not the most secure of fences - I didn't look down as I headed over to explore!
In times gone by, tin miners dug under the sea here to extract metals from the seams which ran under the sea and close to the cornish coastline. It was dangerous work. Imagine hearing the sea and waves crashing above your head as you excavated - not knowing if the next strike of your pick axe would be your last?
Who doesn't get excited by the thought of a steam engine? I don't admit to having an in-depth knowledge of the ins and outs of steam engines but I admire the design and skills of those who built and maintained them.
Levant is the home of the only remaining Cornish Beam Engine built in 1840 still in demonstrating order. Steam engines have been a part of this man's life since he was a young boy. He worried that knowledge and interest is dying out over the generations and that there would be nobody interested in taking over from him when he finally hangs up his hat.
Although I found it pleasant to briefly shelter in the cooler shade indoors...
Good grief … as I scrambled amongst the ruins I glimpsed an information sign casually mentioning that it was the site of arsenic works - a byproduct of the tin mining process! I hoped the 'Health and Safety Men in Suits" had not slacked in their duties when inspecting the grounds and declaring them safe for tourists! I noticed the rest of the family gave it a wide berth!
Blue sky and sunshine and a slight warm sea breeze.
Oh how I love such perfect days like this.
Just wish I'd brought a picnic for supper. Imagine watching the sun set here?
I hope you enjoyed my glimpse of the old Tin Mine.
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Hope you have a great week ahead.
What a glorious place. I wonder about that too, the lost of craftsmanship for things of another era. I can image standing on those cliffs, it must have been spectacular.
Love your 'trip report' and I find the ruined Wheals so evocative. A great place for grunge...
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