Higher Levant Mine

Overview

Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
1460143
Date first listed:
11-Jun-2019
Location Description:
NGR centred on: SW3703934041.

Statutory Address:
Levant Road, Trewellard, St Just, Penzance, Cornwall, TR19 7SX

Map

Ordnance survey map of Higher Levant Mine
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

Statutory Address:
Levant Road, Trewellard, St Just, Penzance, Cornwall, TR19 7SX

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Location Description:
NGR centred on: SW3703934041.

District:
Cornwall (Unitary Authority)
Parish:
St. Just
National Grid Reference:
SW3704534026

Summary

The monument includes the standing, earthwork and buried remains of Higher Levant Mine which dates from 1830 and closed in 1915.

Reasons for Designation

Higher Levant Mine near Trewellard, Cornwall is scheduled for the following principal reasons:

* Survival: the principal elements of the tin and copper extraction process remain in good condition, including the large retaining wall where ore was tipped into carts to be transported to Levant Mine for processing;

* Documentation: the mine was included in an archaeological survey of the St Just mining area, and historic photographs survive of the mine in use;

* Group value: for its proximity to and historic association with Levant Mine;

* Rarity: the giant retaining wall with its ore chutes is believed to be exceptional within west Cornwall, if not the whole county.

History

Higher Levant Mine is located to the west of the village of Trewellard, in the West Penwith area of Cornwall. The mine (also occasionally known as Higher Bal) was opened in 1830 when it was worked for tin and copper as part of Spearn Moor Mine, located 300m to the south east. In 1877 the mine was purchased by Levant Mine, situated half a kilometre to the north and one of Cornwall’s principal mines at that time. The single shaft, Guide Shaft, at Higher Levant is located close to the road on the south-west side of the site and is marked simply as ‘shaft’ on the 1886 Ordnance Survey (1:2500; surveyed 1875). In 1887 a new engine house was built to the north-east of the shaft, containing a 35-inch pumping and winding engine, the pumps being worked by flat rods. Once brought to the surface the ore was transported by waggons the short distance to the dressing floors at Levant Mine for processing, although some processing may have occurred resulting in a spoil heap on the west side of the site. The engine house, boiler house, wheel pits and shaft are shown on the 1:2500 1908 Ordnance Survey, along with a spoil heap with a short section of tramway.

Levant Mine abandoned Higher Levant in 1915 to concentrate on the deeper seaward sections of its mining operations, and production here ceased. Since its closure the timber headgear and structures adjacent to the shaft have been removed leaving the engine house and the boiler house as roofless structures.

Details

PRINCIPAL ELEMENTS The monument includes the standing, earthworks and buried remains of Higher Levant Mine which dates from 1830 and was owned and operated by Levant Mine from 1877. The mine surface features occupy a discrete concentration grouped around Guide Shaft.

DESCRIPTION The mine site is entered along a track from the south-east leading from the through-road to Levant Mine. It is defined on the north-west side of the road by a tall retaining wall containing two ore chute openings. Situated close to the road is the shaft which is lined with stone. No surface evidence of the mine’s timber headgear remains.

The engine house, constructed in 1887, is situated 30m to the north-west of the shaft. It is a roofless structure built of granite with round and square-headed openings with red-brick dressings. On the north corner of the engine house is a cylindrical chimney, of granite construction with a red-brick collar and top section. Attached to the north-west side of the engine house is the boiler house. This is visible as a rectangular feature of granite construction, defined by standing walls up to 1.5m high, and lower earth-covered walls. Historic photographs show that it was a single-storey building with a half-hipped roof. On the south-east side of the engine house is the fly-wheel pit and flat-rod support pits. The latter are visible as a sunken area with granite walls up to 1.5m high, and the former as a 2m-deep slot with a loading wall of granite and concrete up to 2.5m high.

Between the engine house and shaft are a series of flat-rod pits defined as earthworks and earth-covered walls up to 0.5m high, running south-west into the entrance pit to the shaft, where the walls are stone-lined and contain a tall arch-headed slot into the shaft. The shaft entrance pit and the shaft itself are covered with a C20 steel grille.

The western area of the mine site is taken up by spoil heaps; the 1908 Ordnance Survey shows a track or tramway leading from the shaft to the tips. The tips are not visible on historic photographs of the mine dating from the early C20, suggesting that they were remodelled following its closure.

Alongside the road on the south-west side of the mine complex is a large, battered retaining wall of granite construction. Within the wall are two large V-shaped openings with massive granite quoins, from where the ore was loaded into waggons. The construction of the wall suggests that it was built in two phases, possibly incorporating an earlier retaining wall within a larger one to accommodate the ore chute openings. Historic photographs show that a raised trackway ran along the inside of the wall at a high level and that the openings were enclosed with timber boards; today (2018) they are partially infilled with waste material and vegetation. In between the ore chutes and approximately 18m from the south end of the wall is an entrance with a dressed granite arch and granite steps leading up to the surface area adjacent to the shaft. A further 4m to the north-west is another arched entrance and an arched tunnel leading directly to the shaft approximately 9m from the surface. It was built for maintaining the shaft, and has a C20 steel gate at the shaft opening. At the far south-east end of the ore chute wall is a low granite boundary wall to the site; it also contains a granite stile.

EXTENT OF SCHEDULING The scheduled area is defined on the south-west side by the large granite retaining wall with ore chutes; to the north-west by a hedge boundary within vegetation on the west side of the spoil heap; and on the north-east and south-east sides by stone hedge-banks.

EXCLUSIONS The timber gate adjacent to the entrance to the site, modern signs, the post-and-rail metal fencing to the top of the ore chutes, and any safety structures (steel gates and grilles) are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground below them is included.

Sources

Books and journals
Dines, HG, The Metalliferous Mining Region of South West England, Vol 1, (1956), 79-90
Websites
Heritage Gateway: Cornwall & Scilly Historic Environment Record (HER number 162242) , accessed 04/03/2019 from http://www.heritagegateway.org.uk/Gateway/Results_Single.aspx?uid=MCO38491&resourceID=1020
Heritage Gateway: Cornwall & Scilly Historic Environment Record (HER number 42728) , accessed 04/03/2019 from http://www.heritagegateway.org.uk/Gateway/Results_Single.aspx?uid=MCO12182&resourceID=1020
Morrab Library Photographic Archive: Trewellard Mine Higher Bal, accessed 04/03/2019 from http://photoarchive.morrablibrary.org.uk/items/show/4501?fbclid=IwAR0Z5N08v7Ag3o836UkMK8Z6qXdbAA29uzcVIiGH_kcC_Eb4CsxEz12gWn0
Pastscape: Higher Levant Mine (Monument number 421932) , accessed 04/03/2019 from https://www.pastscape.org.uk/hob.aspx?hob_id=421932&sort=2&type=&typeselect=c&rational=a&class1=None&period=None&county=None&district=None&parish=None&place=&recordsperpage=10&source=text&rtype=monument&rnumber=421932
Other
Monument Protection Programme Step 3 report: Tin industry: Levant Mine: Higher Levant (1994)
Ordnance Survey, Cornwall (1886; surveyed 1875) (1:2500)
Ordnance Survey, Cornwall (1908) (1:2500)
Sharpe, A, Levant, Cornwall: recording and conservation works 1999-2002 (for the National Trust and Cornwall Council) (2010), p25.
Sharpe, A, St Just: An archaeological survey of the mining district, Vols 1, 2 & 3 (1992).

Legal

This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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