Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for LEVAN, or ST. LEVAN

LEVAN, or ST. LEVAN, a parish in Penzance district, Cornwall; on the coast, 3¾ miles SE by E of Lands End, and 8 SW of Penzance r. station. Post town, St. Buryan, under Penzance. Acres, 2,328. Real property, £3,037. Pop., 447. Houses, 89. The property is much subdivided. The coast is bold and granitic; and p resents fissured, shattered, columnar-looking cliffs, which have a rude resemblance to pinnacles or spires. Tol-Pedu-Penwith, or ' ' the holed headland of Penwith, ''is a promontory at the SW extremity of Mount's bay; and takes its name from a deep well-like chasm, called the Funnel Rock, through which the sea, during a storm, dashes with terrific noise. A famous logan or rocking.stone crowns one of three rocks, called Castle Treryn, or Trereen Dynas Camp, overhanging the sea; is so delicately poised, as to be easily rocked to and fro by a single person; has a computed weight of not less than 90 tons; was long believed to be irremoveable by any number of men, with any ordinary mechanical appliances; was, never theless, dislodged, in a frolic, in 1824, by a party of seamen, and caught in its descent by a narrow chasm; and was afterwards, by the same party, hoisted up and replaced with the aid of capstans and chains. An entrenchment of earth and stones, forming a triple line of defence, isolates the headland, and occasions the name castle or camp; and the outer vallum of it is about 15 feet high. A copper mine was worked to the depth of 260 yards, and employed 460 hands. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Exeter. Value, not reported. Patron, the Crown. The church stands on a lonely spot, beside two cottages; is a stone edifice, with a tower; and contains a monument of Miss Dennis, the author of ' ' Sophia de St. Clare, ''and a native. The churchyard has lich-stones at the entrances, and contains a fine old cross. The ruin of an ancient baptistry is on the bank of a rivulet, at what is called the well of St. Levan; and this, together with the parish, takes name from an ancient anchorite, who was canonized after his death. There are chapels for Wesleyans and Primitive Methodists; and there is a national school for the parishes of St. Levan and Sennen.


(John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72))

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a parish"   (ADL Feature Type: "countries, 4th order divisions")
Administrative units: St Levan ExP/CP       Cornwall AncC
Place names: LEVAN     |     LEVAN OR ST LEVAN     |     ST LEVAN
Place: St Levan

Go to the linked place page for a location map, and for access to other historical writing about the place. Pages for linked administrative units may contain historical statistics and information on boundaries.