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The Mermaid Legend



For as long as man has gone to sea, there have been tales of mermaids. Supposedly the result of ocean-weary sailors mistaking aquatic mammals such as manatees for the figure of a woman, the well-known image of a creature with the head and torso of a female but the tail of a fish from the waist downwards has become a popular feature in folklore.


As things are gradually beginning to settle down our end, we had the pleasure of visiting the village of Zennor recently and the local church there associated with the story of the Zennor mermaid.


The story in brief was of a local choir boy named Matthew Trewhella who sang in St Senara’s church every Sunday, and whose enchanting voice attracted a mermaid from the nearby coast. Its said that at first, she listened only from the rocks at Pendour Cove, a small inlet of land along the rugged coastline barely a stone’s throw from the village.


As the weeks went on, she grew bolder and even dared to attend the church itself to listen, appearing in the disguise of a well-dressed noble woman.


Every week from then on, she came to listen, finally catching his eye by way of a smile, a sigh, or a song of her own.


He left the church with her and they made for the ocean, never to be seen again.


Apparently their voices could still be heard singing together from beneath the waves, and it was said that Matthew would warn of rough seas by singing low.


When he sang high, sailors knew it was safe to venture out.


This chair was carved over 400 years ago as a respectful memorial for him and can be found within the church.


(Supported text credit offline.)

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