Mermaid of Zennor

This month we're taking a break from posting about parenting and birthday parties to share something a bit different. It does include a mermaid, however.


Recently, Jackie Bunn, LifeMadeSimple founder, and her husband, Harry, visited their friend, Nickie, who lives in Penzance, England. They've known each other for many years and Nickie met Lois Petren (the Five Enchanted Mermaids’ author) at Jackie’s wedding back in 1983!


Zennor is a village on the Atlantic coast of Cornwall, England. It is a few miles from Penzance so a side-trip there was a given as it holds special importance for LifeMadeSimple and its Five Enchanted Mermaids brand.


It is the home of the Mermaid of Zennor.


The Local Church


Zennor has a few cottages and a church – St Senara’s - and it is within the church that the myth is described. There is even a carving of a mermaid on one of the church pews dating from 1873 commemorating the myth.


Views of the interior/exterior of the church and the mermaid pew

The Myth


According to legend, many years ago a beautiful woman attended St. Senara’s church and was noted for her exquisite singing voice. She attended the church for many years but did not appear to age. At one point she became interested in Matthew Trewhella, who was known as "the best singer in the parish." One day he decided to follow her and both disappeared never to be seen again.


One Sunday, years later, a mermaid appeared next to a ship, which had cast anchor in Pendour Cove, a short distance from Zennor. The mermaid asked the sailors to raise the anchor, which was resting on top of her door. The sailors did so and sailed away worried that the mermaid might do them harm. When the Zennor villagers heard of this, they concluded that the mermaid was the same woman who had visited their church years earlier. They determined that she had enticed Matthew Trewhella to come and live with her under the sea.


In the church, there is inscribed a shorter version of the myth. The theme from this myth and others indicates that mermaids are beautiful and can sing beautifully. Harry has always had a fertile imagination and suggested that the Five Enchanted Mermaids should evolve into a five-girl rock group. Jackie and Lois shouted him down!

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