Our Cottage Names – Morvoren Cottage

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Morvoren means Mermaid in Cornish. We all love mermaids, (and mermen of course, no sexism here) and we wanted to include this as one of our cottage names as we felt it reflects our love of the sea and the beautiful north Cornish coast.

The most famous Cornish Mermaid is the mermaid of Zennor. The legend goes that a mysterious and unusually beautiful lady with flowing blonde hair and fine clothes occasionally attended church at Zennor and amazed the congregation with her beautiful singing. She soon became the talk of the town and though she attended over many years she never aged.

One day she caught the eye of a local man with a great singing voice called Matthew. He followed her home and was never seen again.

Later after a mermaid was sighted from the cliffs of Zennor, people realised who the charmed stranger had been. She was a daughter of Llyr, king of the ocean, and a mermaid by the name of Morveren. They assumed Morvoren had had taken Matthew to live with her in the ocean.

However that doesn’t mean they never heard him again. It is said Matthew sings soft and high over the ocean if the day is to be fair, and deep and low if Llyr is going to make the seas rough. From the songs, the Cornish fishermen knew when it was safe to haul anchor.

There is a “mermaid chair” at St. Senara’s church to this day to remind men of the danger. As on this chair, Morvoren is always shown with a mirror in one hand and a comb in the other.

Click to read the Ballad of the Mermaid of Zennor Poem:

Buy the book, by Launceston’s Charles Causley:

Book a holiday in Dozmary Cottage (sleeps 4).