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Joan Mere’s House & Well

by Ber Weyde

Under the Chasms, on the shore, is a well near the sea. The salt water comes into it at high tide, but when it is ebbing the fresh water spring drives the salt water out of it, and the water is very good. The place is covered with very great rocks and is something like a cave and the old men called it Joan Mere’s House instead of Joan Mere’s Well; perhaps the mermaids were sleeping in it at night…

Well, there were two men, but both are dead now, and they used to tell about the mermaids they had seen, near this place. One of them saw them on a rock in the west corner of this bay, and the other in the east corner, which, he said, was a male; the female in the west corner had very long hair, and her skin was white, she had very large breasts, and when she saw them coming too near, she slid down from the rock. She dragged herself along with her hands until she got into deep water, and immediately disappeared.

The male, who had his hair and beard like a man, used to swim about the rocks, and once was seen by one of the fishermen, swimming through the opening between the Sugarloaf and the mainland, and was turning round and watching every object until he got some distance off the land, and then he dived and disappeared.

(source: Manx Notes & Queries (1904) edited by Charles Roeder; photograph)

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