Peregrine and the Mermaid - Atlas Obscura

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Peregrine and the Mermaid

St Dogmaels, Wales

A wooden statue of a mermaid commemorates one fisherman's generosity. 


Overlooking the River Teifi in this small Welsh village is a wooden statue of a mermaid commemorating a fisherman’s generosity. The fisherman’s name was Peregrine, and, in late September 1789, he had the good fortune of landing a mermaid in his nets. Overjoyed with his catch, he tied the mermaid up to his boat and set sail for St. Dogmaels, where he planned to come ashore. On the journey home, the beautiful mermaid begged and pleaded with him to let her go.

However, on approaching the village, it seems that Peregrine had a change of heart. Bringing a mermaid to shore would certainly make him rich, but what fate would await her? He started to untie the knots he had used to fasten her to the boat and let her go. Recognizing this kindness, the mermaid gratefully thanked him and promised to repay him in the future.

Ten days after his unusual catch, Peregrine and his boat were again heading out to sea to catch herring. As he sailed past the sandbar in the river, the mermaid appeared at the side of his boat. She called out a warning that a storm was coming, and he should head home. He turned his ship around and went back to the village, although all of the other fishermen laughed at his sudden change of heart. However, their laughter soon turned to tears, as all of the little boats were lost in a terrible storm.

The mermaid statue commemorates this tale. It is a pleasant place to stop for a picnic, and also marks the start (or end) of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, and long distance footpath running for 186 miles around the coast of Pembrokeshire, one of Britiain’s National Parks.  There is a small sculpture decorated with costal wildlife often seen from the shore, but alas, there are no mermaids.

Know Before You Go

There is parking nearby on the road in a parking bay.  There are benches and picnic tables.

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October 6, 2023

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