Little Sark Landmark Lost
The recent stormy weather took its toll on one of Sark’s best-known manmade landmarks recently when the remains of the engine house above Port Gorey on Little Sark finally succumbed to the ravages of time and weather. The building housed an enormous coal-fired beam engine that worked day and night to drive the pump that kept Sark’s Hope Mine dry as most of the workings were well below sea level. The engine house was built during the winter of 1837/8 and was part of an ill-fated copper, lead and silver mining enterprise at Pot Bay and Port Gorey that ceased in 1847. Seigneur Pierre Le Pelley (the third to bear the same name) invested heavily in the venture, a decision that eventually led to the family’s financial downfall and, in 1952, the Fief was sold to the Collings family. (This is the family from which our current Seigneur is descended.) Left to crumble after the machinery was sold off in 1848, half of the engine house remained until the 1930s when part of that collapsed leaving the familiar pinnacle that was one corner of the building. That has now also collapsed but the fact that it stood for over eighty years is a tribute to those Cornish miners who built it.
Pictures by Sue Daly show the remains of the engine house before the recent storms and all that’s left of the engine house now.