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St Levan

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1868 - The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland

"ST. LEVAN, a parish in the hundred of Penwith, county Cornwall, 8 miles S.W. of Penzance, and 2 from St. Buryan. It is situated on the bold granite-bound coast near the Land's End, and contains the celebrated Logan, or Rocking-stone, an immense block of granite poised on the summit of one of the three rocks called Castle Treryn, or Trereen Dynas Camp, overhanging the sea. The weight of this stone is supposed to be 90 tons; yet so nicely balanced as to be easily rocked to and fro by a single individual. In 1820, though considered almost the greatest curiosity in Cornwall, Lieutenant Goldsmith, with a party of sailors, in a frolic dislodged the mass; but, being reprimanded by the government, he took steps shortly afterwards to replace it, with the help of capstans, &c., when it was secured by chains. The village, which is small, is situated in a secluded dell opening to the sea. It is said to derive its name from a British martyr, whose well and ancient oratory still remain. The surface is boldly undulating, and in parts rocky, especially near the coast. At Cape Tolpeder-Penwith, which is separated from the mainland by an ancient stone wall, is the Funnel Rock, through which the sea dashes with tremendous noise. The substratum is chiefly granite and slate, and the soil killas. There is a copper mine 260 yards deep, employing several hundred miners. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Exeter, value with St. Burian and Sennen, £1,004. The church of St. Levan, situated near Porth Kernow Bay, is a stone edifice, with a square embattled tower containing three bells. In the interior are several mural monuments, an ancient font, a register chest, and the tomb of Miss Dennis, an excellent Greek scholar, and author of "Sophia de St. Clare." There is a register of ancient date. The Wesleyans and Primitive Methodists have each a place of worship. There is a National school for this and the adjoining parish of Sennen.