TRAVELS: Doxey Pool: The Only Inland Mermaid Legend in Britain?

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Doxey Pool can be found on the path that runs across the top of the Roaches, a gritstone escarpment not far from the Staffordshire/Derbyshire border. The area is rich in myths and legends, but I particularly love the stories surrounding this strange body of water (which allegedly never dries up even in a drought). 

Some accounts maintain that it's bottomless, others say that it connects to Blake Mere, another nearby tarn, via a deep subterranean passage. Both pools are reputed to house a malignant mermaid. In 1949, a Miss Florence Pettit claimed to have witnessed a weird creature emerge from the water just before she was about to take a morning swim. Here's her description of the event:
…a great ‘thing’ rose up from the middle of the lake. It rose very quickly until it was 25 to 30 feet tall. Seeming to be part of the slimy weeds and the water, yet it had eyes, and those eyes were extremely malevolent. It pointed its long boney fingers menacingly at me so there was no mistaking its hostility. I stood staring at the undine, water spirit, naiad or whatever it was while my heart raced. Its feet just touched the surface of the water, the weeds and the air. when I dared to look again, the creature was dissolving back into the elements from which it had formed.
Sadly I didn't see anything odd when I visited, but there's definitely a haunting stillness surrounding the mere. It's easy to understand why locals are wary of the spot and continue to avoid the pool, especially at night.

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