St.Just The Centre of the Heritage Coast in Cornwall
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What to See

Tin Mines

There are many mines along the coast particularly in the St Just area, now disused with their engine houses and stacks giving glimpses of their past glories.

The mines of Botallack and Levant had workings going out under the sea.
Buller writing in the 1840's, "The miner, particularly in stormy weather, distinctly hears the awful grandeur of the rounded boulders rolling over his head as they are driven forwards and backwards by the force of the coming and receding waves."
Levant had a man engine for carrying men up and down the shaft which collapsed killing many miners. Following restoration by dedicated volunteers Levant has the only remaining working steam engine still in place. Steaming occurs regularly through the summer.
Wheal Owles had 11 engines and 29 miles of levels in the 1860's. On the 10th January 1893 miners broke through into flooded workings of an adjacent mine Wheal Drea and 20 miners were drowned.
Geevor, the most recent tin mine closed in 1990, and has reopened as a Museum with underground tours for visitors.

Antiquities

The fields and moors of West Cornwall contain a wealth of ancient monuments, standing stones, Stone, Bronze and Iron Age forts and villages and the area has a rich heritage of myths and legends handed down through the centuries.

There are four Stone Age or Neolithic burial tombs (known in Cornwall as quoits) consisting of three or more upright slabs with a flat capstone on top on the West Penwith Moors. These are :- Chun Quoit, Zennor Quoit, Mulfa Quoit and Lanyon Quoit. Both Lanyon and Chun are easily found from the road. Lanyon was rebuilt in 1824 after a prank dislodged the cap stone. Another interesting stone tomb is Bollowall Barrow on Carn Gloose. This is a complex structure of a circular mound with a domed mound inside containing several burials.

Iron Age hill forts include Chun Castle, Trencrom and Castle-an-Dinas with cliff castles at Kenidjack and Gurnards Head. Village settlements of particular interest are Carn Euny with its fougou and Chysauster. Standing stones of note are the Pipers, Boswens and Men Scryfa. The latter has a latin inscription and stands in the middle of a field close to the famous holed stone of Men an Tol.

Most of the Stone Circles have folk names as there are many stories about the stones being maidens or hurlers turned to stone for dancing or hurling on the Sabbath. (Hurling was a ball game played in Cornwall centuries ago.) Nine Maidens, Merry Maidens and Boscawen Un are good examples.

Lanyon Quoit
Bollowall Barrow
Gurnard's Head
Men-an-tol