The Mermaid of the North sits upon a rock- named ‘Clach Dubh’ (black rock in Gaelic)- in the Seaboard village of Balintore.
Steve Hayward, from Hilton, sculpted the the 10ft bronzed wood mermaid statue in 2007, the Highland Year of Culture. The Mermaid of the North is part of the area’s Seaboard Sculpture Trail, which includes several other sculptures related to the sea, such as three giant salmon and three slate monuments.
In 2012 the mermaid was damaged by a severe storm. Originally made from wood and resin, she was not strong enough to withstand the stormy weather. In 2014 the mermaid was replaced with a bronze cast model and this was aided with a grant from the SSE. Every year the Mermaid lures many tourists to the area and is greatly valued by the locals.
The Mermaid’s origins are deep rooted in Easter Ross folklore; legend tells that once a fisherman stole a beautiful mermaid away to be his wife and hid her tail. Years later, after bearing his children, she found her tail and escaped back to sea, returning regularly to the shore to bring fish to her hungry children. You can listen to the story of the mermaid by clicking the recording below. The story is told by Dolly, a local woman.