The Mermaid of Zennor

I don't know if everyone knows the story of the mermaid of Zennor - I remember (all those years ago -yes I have a good memory!!) doing the story at school - maybe being Cornish and it being a Cornish school, or maybe it was to do with the Cornish Gorsedd which we always wrote poetry, drew pictures and wrote about Cornwall for the yearly competition in our school.

Lying midway between St. Ives and Pendeen on the north coast of the Penwith Peninsula lies the small moorland village of Zennor. A short way north of the village lies the spectacular Pendour Cove. A local legend tells us of the story of one Mathew Trewella and his love for a mermaid. Mathew was a fine young man with a voice to match his good looks. Every evening Mathew would sing the closing hymn at Zennor church alone - this was to be his undoing. A mermaid, half-woman half fish, was entranced by the wonderful music from the village above her home at Pendour Cove. She listened to Mathew's voice with increasing interest until one day should could stand it no longer. She had to see who was making this beautiful music. The mermaid dressed herself in a long dress, taking care to conceal her long tail and walked awkwardly up to the church. At first she just marvelled at the singing before slipping away to return beneath the waves before the ebb-tide. After a few more visits, she became bolder and waited longer. It was on this visit that her gaze met with Mathew's and the pair fell madly in love. The call of the sea was too strong however and the mermaid knew that she must return to her home or face certain death. She turned to leave but Mathew called after her 'Please do not leave, who are you, where are you from?'. The mermaid explained that she was a creature from the sea and that she must return now. Already deeply in love with her, Mathew told her that wherever she went he would follow. Carrying her, Mathew ran down to the cove and followed her beneath the waves. Neither were seen again. It is said however that if you sit above the cove at twilight on a fine summer's evening you might just catch Mathew singing faintly on the breeze.

Taken from Cornwall in Focus

A beautiful Cornish Tale which I hope I have captured with Claire Morris of Rowanberry GLass artisan beads - the colours in these beads are fabulous - mixed with citrine and Karen Hill Tribe Silver with some handcrafted fine silver tendrils ;)

© Gemheaven 2007


Beverley Abbott said...

What a beautiful story Jo! I am enthralled!

love the bracelet and beads are fab too!
love bev xxx

Brandi said...

wow, thanks jo! that story made me a little sad and a little happy, all at the same time.

i LOVE the jewelry it inspired, though, no qualms or waffling about that! :D

fhiona galloway said...

oh wow! You've been doing so many beautiful pieces recently and I've not been looking-bad me!
The beads are just amazing-love the greens. Very dreamy.

Sakura said...

This Mermaid of Zennor set is gorgeous the lampwork is stunning especially as its my favourite teal and green sea-coloured combo ♥ Also what a beautiful yet sad story thanks for telling it :D

Sakura ♥

ButterflyBeadwear said...

JO Jo Jo your jewelllery just keeps getting better and better!!! I love it all, oh Mermaid tears how lovelyi your choice of beads are so great. I love your autumn bracelet I made a bracelet called Autumn with similar colours and charm style, not all that long ago but I wisked it off to the shop before photographing it, we must be thinking simliar things from time to time, must be that cornish blood! I thinking of having a try at lampworking are you??