Friday, February 5, 2010

The Mermaid of Zennor

Zennor, in Cornwall, is a smalll village and home to a 12th-century church, the Parish Church of St Senara. Inside the church is the now famous (thanks to the book of the same name) Mermaid Chair. The "chair" is actually two medieval bench-ends (over 600 years old) made into a seat. The carving on one end depicts a mermaid holding a comb and mirror.

There is a local legend about a mermaid in Zennor. Matthew Trewella was a good-looking young man with a nice voice. Each evening Matthew would sing the closing hymn at the church in Zennor. A mermaid living in neighbouring Pendour Cove was enchanted by the music. She dressed in a long dress to hide her long tail and walked (how?) to the church. She was amazed by Matthew's singing, and listened a little bit before slipping away to return to the sea. She came every day staying longer and longer. It was on one of these visits that her gaze met Matthew's, and they fell in love. However, the mermaid knew she had to go back to the sea or die. As she prepared to leave, Matthew said "Please do not leave, who are you, where are you from?". The mermaid told him her problem. Matthew was so love-struck that he swore he would follow her wherever she went. Matthew carried her to the cove, all the while his mother crying and pleading with him to stay. She reminded him that mermaids have no souls and by joining them, he too would lose his. He was so in love with the mermaid that it didn't matter, he followed her beneath the waves, never to be seen again. It is said that if you sit above Pendour Cove at sunset on a fine day you can hear Mathew singing above the waves.


  1. I think your blog is a neat and different idea! I love mermaids too. I'm more into collecting the vintage ones but I do dig them. Your merblog could get pretty cool. I'll drop by often to check it out.

  2. Welcome aboard. I look forward to hearing from you! I'd be happy to post pictures of your collection! :) Your blog is awesome. I love vintage stuff! The stars of the fifties were so glamerous!


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