As part of a series of new journal posts we are telling the story behind our Cornish named hammam towels which have been inspired by our lives in West Penwith.
And where better place to start than Zennor, one of our bold and beautiful hammam towels with an equally bold and beautiful namesake. Situated in the wilds of the north coast of Cornwall in between St Just and St Ives, Zennor is a placed steeped in history with a romantic and wild landscape. With tall cliffs towering above the surging Atlantic ocean, and rambling moors behind, it is a dramatic place where nature is truly the boss.
The village has a rich history with a wonderful old pub, The Tinners Arms which dates back to 1271. With stone floors, log fires, low ceilings and a real sense of history it's the perfect pit stop while walking the coast path.
D.H Lawrence wrote about Zennor in 1916
“At Zennor one sees infinite Atlantic, all peacock-mingled colours, and the gorse is sunshine itself. Zennor is a most beautiful place: a tiny granite village nestling under high shaggy moor-hills and a big sweep of lovely sea beyond, such a lovely sea, lovelier even than the Mediterranean… It is the best place I have been in, I think”
The Norman church of St Senara reveals the reason for the mermaid which is the chosen icon for our Zennor hammam towels. Within the beautiful old church in the centre of the village there is a medieval bench end with the famous carving of the Mermaid of Zennor.
The legend behind this mermaid tells the tale of a well-dressed and beautiful lady who was known to attend Zennor church. She was mysterious and attracted lots of attention. The story goes that a handsome young man named Matthew Trewella was one day lured by her beauty and sweet singing voice down to the ocean where they both disappeared forever.
The beautiful lady was in-fact a mermaid named Morveren. She was daughter of Llyr, king of the ocean and was discovered one day by a ship's captain. The legend goes that the captain feared she would bring him bad luck and rushed to warn the people of Zennor about this magical and potentially dangerous mermaid.
It was to commemorate the strange events and as a warning to other young men of the dangers of mermaids that she was carved into the church pugh.
In honour of all modern mermaids out there, who like to be a little bit mysterious and at one with the ocean, let our Zennor hammam towel bring out your bold and adventurous side. Because everyone needs to release their inner-mermaid from time to time.
And finally...our favourite Penzance mermaids wearing their Zennor hammam towels are Out of Sink. A truly wonderful and heartwarming team of synchronised sea swimming sisters. This band of inspiring women share a love of the ocean and raise awareness of rising tides and climate change through their performances.
Release you inner mermaid - shop Zennor Hammam Towels