Sunday, 3 May 2015

The Mernaid of Zennor

Zennor - famous for two things. The Tinner's Arms ( good food) and  of course the legend of the Mermaid.

It's a well known story but what is a mermaid carving doing inside the church?

After a good lunch in the Tinner's we thought we'd go and find her. Fortunately the two buildings are virtually side by side so although we had to brave the rain we didn't get wet.

It's a nice old church. There's been one on the site for 1400 years but the current one is part Norman but with later additions in the 13 and 15  centuries CE. As is so frequently the case it's built on Bronze and Iron Age settlement foundations.

And here she is  - the Mermaid on the side of the chair. She is easy to find being in one of the side chapels. The carving is believed to be some 600 years old so did the legend inspire the carving? Or the carving the legend? I guess we will never know.

As to what she is doing in a church - according to the notice beside the chair, she reminds us that St Senara came from across the water 1400 years ago to bring his/her message and found the church.So that is all right then! ( I'm sure the parallels with the Greek myth of Danaë and Perseus are purely coincidental...)

This has nothing to do with the mermaid but as we turned to leave, my eye was caught by the stained glass window. I've done a bit of digging around on the Internet but I have yet to discover why there is a rather cute green dragon sitting in the chalice!

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