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Levant mine, Botallack and Sennen Cove

Sennen Cove

A bright and breezy morning so I head off to Sennen Cove to beach comb. Fascinating shapes made by seaweed washed up by the stormy seas remind me of drawings on the sand. Colours, shapes and shadows. I look up the coast line to Cape Cornwall.
I visit Levant mine on the Tinner’s coast. Run by the National Trust and with a working steam beam ‘whim’ engine, the atmosphere on this incredibly windy day is amazing. As I step out of the beam engine building two choughs tumble in the air in front of me, diving down into the zawn towards the sea.
The more I find out about the mines in this area and their history, the more in awe I am of them and the people who worked them. The mines carved the landscape, and also the community – providing an identity and way of life which endured for generations.

Not so long ago this coast was ringing with noise, activity and people – such a stark contrast to today.

On for a tin chat with Geoff, then a walk along the coast path and sketch in the gale force wind at Botallack before heading back to the Cape. The choughs fly overhead, along with ravens and swallows. I am also amazed to witness a large rabbit chasing off two stoats, with much shrieking!

The mine ruins here are particularly spectacular and probably the most photographed Рthey cling to the edge of the granite cliffs Рa credit to those that built them (they have no foundations due to their position and the underlying hard rock).

I love the sense of isolation along the coast path here and the wonder what’s going on under the waves. Again, the contrast of how this place once was springs to mine and not for the first time I can feel that undercurrent of loss that runs throughout the area.

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