In our quest to bring you some folklore fun we came across the little-known legend of the ‘Mermaid of ‘Marden’. It involves a priest, some villagers, a church bell and a grumpy mermaid. Apparently the local priest happened to pull too enthusiastically on the church bell one Sunday. It dislodged and fell from its hold rolling into the River Lugg. After numerous attempts to retrieve the bell from the river, a man spotted it from the bank but noticed that a mermaid had wrapped herself around it.
This mermaid was sassy and when summoned by the villager was not at all co-operative about returning the bell. In fact she complained about the ringing disturbing her peace and decided to claim it for herself. After continued attempts to lift the bell from its watery resting place and disturbing the mermaid once more, she grew angry and cut the rope being used to hoist the bell to land, sending the bell back into the depths of the river. It was regaled that the mermaid grew so fed up of people poking about in her part of the Lugg looking for the bell that she hid it in a pond near to the church, where it was discovered again in 1848.
The moral of this story is let sleeping mermaids lie!
For those who have enjoyed the tale of the Mermaid of Marden and are interested in exploring further, ‘The Marden Bell’ can be viewed in Herefordshire Museum.
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