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Cornish Levant Beam Engine to receive Engineering Heritage Award

18 June 2018

The engine receives the accolade from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in recognition of its restoration and contribution to Cornish mining history.

Levant mine (Credit: Shutterstock)
Levant mine (Credit: Shutterstock)

The Levant Beam Engine at Trewellard on the rugged “Tin Coast” is the world's only Cornish beam engine still operated by steam on its original site. 

The engine was designed by Francis Michell of Redruth and built in Hayle by Harvey & Company in 1840. Its purpose was to bring copper and tin ore to surface and take materials and supplies into the mine.

The engine ran for 90 years until 1930 when the mine closed after suffering a steady decline for many years. The site is now owned by the National Trust.

The engine lay dormant until 1984 when, with permission from the National Trust, a group of Trevithick Society volunteers started work to restore it. It has now run under live steam for public viewing for 25 years, and in 2017 over 33,000 people visited the mine. Since opening to the public, the mine site has been transformed to show the extent of the mining carried out at Levant which is part of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Landscape.

This will be the 120th Engineering Heritage Award to be presented by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. The awards, established in 1984, aim to promote artefacts, sites or landmarks of significant engineering importance – past and present.

Previous winners of Engineering Heritage Awards include Alan Turing’s Bombe at Bletchley Park, the E-Type Jaguar and Concorde. 

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