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Kinder Downfall and Mermaids Pool


Kinder Downfall is the highest waterfall in the county, formed where the river Kinder meets the edge of the moorland plateaux. Far below the downfall, the dark waters of Mermaids Pool are reputedly haunted by a water spirit who manifests on the Eve of Easter, perhaps relating to a time of ancient worship in the area.

Waterfalls and solitary pools were often seen as sacred places in the past, each with their own guardian creatures. An interesting feature about the waterfall is that on blustery days the water appears to flow upwards creating a reversal of the natural order, a phenomena that would not have gone unnoticed to our ancestors.

The origin of the Mermaid legend is obscure, but there are many solitary pools with similar legends and it may date back to before the Roman invasion.

Folklore suggests that staring into the waters will grant visions of the future, and as is common with many water spirits the Mermaid has a treacherous nature either granting eternal life or pulling under those who have glimpsed her.

Kinder Scout and the surrounding area has been the scene of many air crashes. Two sabre jets crashed in unexplained circumstances in July 1954 the wreckage can still be seen, GR 072902.

Please note: The area can be treacherous in poor weather, low cloud can reduce visibility within minutes. Good clothing and map reading skills are advisable before any moorland venture.

More about the legend can be discovered in the article by Julie Bunting, of Peakland Heritage.


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Ian Topham's picture
Ian Topham
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Re: Kinder Downfall and Mermaids Pool

There is a mermaids pool near Chapel en le Frith at Mill Hill (which I assume may be this one) where it is said that if you gaze into the pool at midnight on Easter Eve you'll see a mermaid appear.

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Ian Topham
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Re: Kinder Downfall and Mermaids Pool

NEAR Downfall, a short walk from the Old Oak Wood, not far from Hayfield, is the Mermaid's Pool. There is a local tradition that a beautiful nymph lives in the side of the Scout, who comes to bathe daily in the Mermaid's Pool, and that the man who has the good fortune to see her whilst bathing will become immortal. 

The old folk of Hayfield, moreover, have a long story of a man who, some time in the last century, went from Hayfield over the Scout, and was lucky enough to meet this mountain nymph, by whom he was conducted to a cavern hard by. Tradition adds that she was pleased with this humble mortal, and that he lingered there for some time, when she conferred on him the precious gift of immortality. 

The Legendary Lore Of The Holy Wells Of England by Robert Charles Hope (1893)



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