Portland is an area in Dorset with lots of legends, and unsurprisingly many are related to the sea and mystical sea creatures. Unfortunately, the once proud Mermaid Inn is no longer being converted into residential usage, but still worth a mention in our investigation of pubs with a story to tell.
Local legend states that during the 18th Century that during a tempest of a storm a mermaid was washed ashore close to the Inn, hence the name. "Ralph Holinshed," a 16th Cent historian, gives the following account of such an oddity:
"In the month of November 1457, in the Ile of Portland not far from Weymouth was seen a cocke coming out of the sea having a great crest upon its head and a red beard and legs half a yard long; he stood on the water and crowned four times and every time he turned him about and beckoned with his head towards the north the south and the west, and was of colour like a feasnt and when he had crowed three times he vanished".