An old magic lantern slide of Aberystwyth.
Aberystwyth (Dyfed) - Cliffs near the town
Twelve people watched a beautiful pale woman washing herself in the sea, with what appeared to be a black tail splashing around behind her.
Bantry (County Cork) - Bay cliffs
The mermaids said to live in this area would be capable of changing their shape as they came on to land. They would also be seen sitting on the rocks play harps.
Barra (Outer Hebrides) - Reef in Caolas Cumhan
Crofter Colin Campbell raised his rifle to fire at what he thought was an otter eating a fish but stopped when he realised the creature was a mermaid holding a child. The creature dived into the sea after Campbell made a noise.
Burscough (Lancashire) - Martin Mere
An unknown large creature was seen to attack several swans from beneath the water of the lake - it is believed to be a type of large catfish, which can grow up to sixteen feet in length. There has also been at least one mermaid sighting in the lake, and Sir Lancelot's body is supposed to be buried nearby.
Calf of Man (Isle of Man) - Rocky area, exact location not known
Three men from Douglas found two merchildren on the rocks. One was already dead, but they saved the second child and took it to their town. The creature was described as around 60.3 centimetres in length and brown in colour, although the scales around its tail were slightly violet, and the hair on its head light green.
Campbeltown (Argyll and Bute) - Kintyre Peninsula
18 October 1811
Watched by a farmer for two hours, this mermaid had a pale upper body and a red/grey tail covered in hair. Its face was human, with deep-set eyes and short neck. The creature combed the hair on its head with what looked like short, stubby arms before diving into the water and washing its torso.
Wood engraving of a merman by the sea.
Castlemartin (Dyfed) - Off the coast in the area
Henry Reynolds spotted a merman off the coast which he initially believed to be a pale skinned teenager before noticing its brown tail which waved about. While the body and arms looked human, the arms and hands looked too short and thick, while the creature's nose was long and sharp. Reynolds went to find other witnesses, but by the time he returned, the merman had gone.
Child's Ercall (Shropshire) - Pool
This mermaid was so upset at the way she was treated by onlookers, she drove to the bottom of the pool and never returned. It was thought that she guarded a mass of treasure.
A stylised cast-iron mermaid.
Colmonell (Ayrshire) - Knockdolian Castle
The mistress of the castle ordered the destruction of a black rock which stood just a short distance away, to prevent a mermaid sitting upon it and singing. As revenge, the mermaid cursed the family, ensuring they all died without leaving an heir for the estate.
Colonsay (Argyll and Bute) - Unknown cave along the coast
A mermaid kidnapped a man by the name of Macphie and held him in a cave along the island's shore. Macphie was given any item he wished for but remained unhappy until he managed to escape. The mermaid gave chase, but Macphie tossed his dog into the sea. Dog and mermaid fought until they both died from their injuries.
Conwy (Clwyd) - Conway Bay
Llys Helig was a mythical palace, which was sunk to punish its evil owner. The ruins of the walls can sometimes be seen at low tide, though in recent years it has been discovered that the rocks are a natural formation. Mermaids have also been seen in these waters, and one was said to have cursed the town of Conway after she was washed up on the beach and no one offered to help her back into the sea.
An old woodcut of a mermaid swimming past a sailing ship.
Deerness (Orkney) - Off coast
Late nineteenth century
These women of the water were seen dozens of times during the last twenty years of the nineteenth century. One was said to have been shot, but the body was not recovered.
Duncansby Head (Highland) - Cave system off coast
A team of mermaids and mermen are reported to guard a hidden cave full of treasure.
Dunnet Bay (Highland) - Underwater sea cave
A good looking fisherman once caught the eye of a mermaid who fell in love with him - she kidnapped the fellow and held him in a secret cave under the sea, where he remains to this day...
Eynhallow (Orkney) - Exact location unknown
14 July 1990
Two birdwatchers that vanished without trace on the island after arriving with 86 other people were thought by locals to have been taken by merfolk. An extensive search by the coastguard could find no trace of the missing people.
Fornham All Saints (Suffolk) - Well in the village (exact location unknown)
An old story, most likely told to prevent children playing too close to the well, said a mermaid waited in the water at the bottom. She was ready to drown children who touched the water's edge.
Hayfield (Derbyshire) - Mermaid's Pool, near Kinder Reservoir
Easter Sunday Eve at midnight (reoccurring)
Anyone who sees the creature is said to gain immortality. One man who came here once a year lived to be 104 (so the story goes)!
Inchkeith (Fife) - General area
The area around the island was said to be home to many mermaids and kelpies.
Isle of Sanday (Orkney) - Exact area not known
Folklorist Walter Traill Dennison recorded in 1893 that there were decedents of a union between a male selkie and a woman living on the island - you could tell who the offspring were because they had webbed hands and feet.
Isle of Yell (Shetland) - Thirty miles off the coast
Three (or six) fishermen claimed to have caught a ninety centimetre long mermaid while at sea. The creature had arms around 23 centimetres in length with webbed fingers, and while it had blue eyes and nostrils, no ears or chin could be seen. It possessed a tail similar to a halibut and had two fins on its shoulders. After listening to the creature wail for three hours, the fishermen threw it back into the sea.
Kilconly Point (County Kerry) - Sea
A mermaid which was spotted several times in this area was described as a 'normal' woman, leading one to conclude that maybe she was..?
Killone Lake (County Clare) - Waters of the lake
Every forty years, exact date unknown
A mermaid who frequented the lake would often steal wine from the crypt beneath the church (or the cellar of Newhall, depending on the storyteller). She was stabbed (or shot) when caught but managed to drag herself back to the lake before dying. The waters are said to turn red with her blood every forty years.
Kinlochbervie (Highland) - Craigmore
Mid twentieth century (or 1900?)
A report exists of a seven foot long mer-creature being seen here, bathing on the rocks.
Kinlochbervie (Highland) - Sandwood Bay
Leaving no footprints as he crosses the sand, this bearded sailor is one of the many who lost their lives in the sea nearby. He is particularly noted for the large brass buttons on his jacket and for shouting 'All on this beach is mine!' at some visitors during the 1940s. A red-headed mermaid has also been reported in the area.
A Staffordshire mermaid.
Leek (Staffordshire) - Blakemere, the Mermaid's Pool
The fish woman surfaces to comb her hair at midnight - anyone approaching too close are dragged down into the deep waters with her. One legend says that the mermaid last appeared in the nineteenth century to prevent her pool being drained, threatening to flood the nearby town of Leek if people proceeded to dig away at her home.