British Folklore
Fairy Lore & Prehistoric Sites in Britain

Bomere Pool

Bomere Pool

It is said that this at the bottom of this lake which is just a few miles south of Shrewsbury, lies the remains and ruins of an entire ancient city.  It drowned in a single night because the Saxon (or perhaps Roman) inhabitants refused to accept Christianity and mocked the missionary priest who tried to convert them. As these legends grow in the telling, some counter-intuitive facts weasel their way into the tales as well.  Apparently the church the missionary built also sunk, because if you sail over the middle of the mere at midnight on Christmas Eve, you can hear the bells ringing.  Also, on Easter even one may see the ghost of a young man rowing desperately on the lake hoping to rescue the pagan girl he loved from the waters.

Bomere was once thought to be so unfathomably deep as to be bottomless.  People had tried to measure it by tying ropes end to end with a weight at the bottom, but no bottom could ever be felt; others had tried to drain it, but all the work they did by day was mysteriously undone by night, so the attempt was abandoned.

There is also a legend of the Monster Fish of Bomere Pool - a huge fish which swims about with a sword belted to his side, that no one has ever caught.  Stories tell he was once caught in a net and dragged to shore, but drew his sword, sliced the net and cut his way free, and slid back into the water.  This famous sword once belong to Wild Edric, an 11th century hero from Shropshire; the fish has guarded it ever since he disappeared - one day it will be returned to the rightful heir of Condover Hall.

A more rational tale was told that a group of gentlemen were fishing on the lake in the 16th century when they caught a fish quite as large as a man.  To measure it properly a squire of Condover Hall unbuckled his belt and fastened it, with his sword still attached, around the fish's belly - only to be surprised when the fish, with renewed strength, leaped back into the lake taking the sword and belt with him. Yet another version of the tale makes no mention at all of a sword, but says a giant fish swims among the ruins of an ancient city under the water, making the church bells ring.