Botallack

 

 

 

Slide Show

Sometime before 1830 John Trenear took the famous geologist William Jury Henwood on an underground tour of the Wheal Cock section of Botallack mine, another mine noted for its submarine levels. The visit took place during a storm and Henwood's account of that visit published in 1843 has become a frequently quoted classic in Cornish mining history circles.

I was once underground in Wheal Cock during a storm. At the extremities of the level seaward, some 80 or one hundred fathoms from the shore, little could be heard of its effects, except at intervals when the reflux of some unusually large wave projected a pebble outwardly bounding and rolling over the rocky bottom. But when standing beneath the base of the cliff, and in that part of the mine where but nine feet of rock stood between us and the ocean, the heavy roll of the larger builders, the ceaseless grinding of the pebbles, the fierce thundering of the billows, with the crackling and boiling as they rebounded, placed a tempest in its most appalling form too vividly before me ever to be forgotten. More than once doubting the protection of our rocky shield we, (my companion was the late Captain Trenear of Levant) retreated in fright; and it was only after repeated trials that we had the confidence to pursue our investigation.
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- The Trenear-Harveys of St Just-in-Penwith -