Zennor, Cornwall, England

A view of Zennor

The Mermaid

The legend of the Mermaid of Zennor is famous in Cornish folklore. The mythical creature was lured ashore by the angelic singing of one Matthew Trevella from Zennor Church. She wore a long dress to disguise her mermaid tail and walked gingerly to the church. Initially, she just marvelled at Matthew’s singing before slipping away to return to the sea.


She came everyday, and eventually became more confident, each time staying a while longer. When they eventually spoke, he was transfixed by her beauty and followed her back to the ocean, carried her to the cove and followed her beneath the waves and was never seen again.


In a curious postscript to the story, the same mermaid was said to have complained that a ships anchor and cable in Pendour Cove were preventing her from seeing her husband and their chiildren.


Coxe recommends seeing the carvings on the pews in St. Senara Church where there is a carved bench-end over 600 years old showing the mermaid.


For further information, please read Haunted Britain by Antony D. Hippisley Coxe and Haunted Britain and Ireland by Richard Jones.


Visitor Information

Zennor is a village and civil parish in Cornwall, England, UK. The parish includes the villages of Zennor, Boswednack and Porthmeor and the hamlet of Treen.

Zennor lies on the north coast, about 6 miles north of Penzance, along the B3306 road, which connects St. Ives to the A30 road.

Pictured left is a view of Zennor courtesy of Martin Bodman. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.