Pendeen, Cornwall

Pendeen view Pendeen lighthouse

Pendeen village is half way between Lands End and St Ives. Pendeen is part of a mile long string of small mining communities of Carnyorth, Trewellard, Boscaswell and Bojewyan.

Each of these villages has a famous coastal mine in the last century. In fact the last working mine, Geevor finally closed in 1991, though there is a mine centre and visitor facilities there today. The Levant mine had a major disaster with its man engine in 1919, when it crashed out of control down the shaft killing 31 men. Though the mine closed in 1930, the Levant engine house has been restored by the National trust and is now a working steam engine that can be viewed by the public.

The whole Pendeen area is rich in industrial archaeology - mine stacks and engine houses cover the coast over about two miles. The ore deposits still there cause a slight red discolouration of the sea. When mining declined, many were forced to emigrate abroad, and took up the mining trade in many oversea's mines.

Pendeen St John's parish church is modeled on the cathedral on Iona. The stone came from the Carn Eanes quarry above the village, and it was constructed in the 1850's under the direction of the vicar, Robert Aitken.

Pendeen Lighthouse stands along a road, on a rocky headland, about a mile to the north of the village. Before work could begin the whole headland had to be flattened. The light was commissioned on September 26th 1900. Within the lighthouse tower are two rooms, one over the other, with the lantern on top. It originally contained a five-wick Argand lamp, to which oil was pumped from the room below. It was converted to an electric one in 1926. The optic is very heavy, weighing 2½ tons, but as it floats in a trough containing ¾of a ton of mercury, which enables it to rotate easily. This Lighthouse was automated in 1995. The lighthouse is now unmanned and controlled via a telemetry link from the Trinity House Operational Control Centre at Harwich.

Pendeen, Cornwall Genealogical information from Genuki


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