The Water Nymph of the River Frome
Location: River Frome, Wool.
The Tragic Tale of Lubberlu
The River Frome starts flowing near the village of Evershot, and heads south to Maiden Newton,before turning eastward. Winding its way through the valleys and fields, it skirts Dorchester, Wool, and Wareham, before finally flowing out into Poole Harbour. However, hidden beneath the Frome's many miles of enchanting beauty, there is a dark tale.
|The River Frome|
Not far from Wool, sited on the banks of the river, is the now ruined Cistercian monastery of Bindon Abbey. Long before its dissolution, there lived a local boy called 'Lubberlu' who would earn extra money for his family by running errands for the monks.
Sometimes, whilst on an errand, Lubberlu would walk along the banks of the river, and on hot days go swimming. One particularly warm Summer’s day Lubberlu was doing just that when out from the bullrushes appeared the most beautiful girl he had ever seen. Her blue eyes sparkled like the sunlight on the water and her silvery hair cascaded like a waterfall. She beckoned Lubberlu to come to her side and kiss her! Captivated by her beauty, Lubberlu instantly stepped forward, and kissed her on the lips, and at once became enchanted.
|The Water Nymph by Herbert James Draper|
All that morning he laughed and talked to the girl, but eventually it was time to go. The girl kissed Lubberlu, and made him promise to return the next day and return he did. And the day after, and the day after that! Lubberlu spent many days in the company of the mysterious girl who had captured his heart, for he was head over heels in love.
Autumn approached, and Lubberlu told a monk at the abbey all about the girl, saying how one day he wished to marry her. As Lubberlu spoke more about the girl the monk soon realized that the girl was not an ordinary mortal but a water nymph of the river - He knew that Lubberlu was in serious danger, for it would only be a matter of time before she revealed her true murderous nymphic nature to him and he told Lubberlu to keep away from her, there could never be any happiness!
When Lubberlu heard this he was horrified. In tears, he ran as fast as he could to the river, calling for the girl. He was never seen alive again! A few days later, Lubberlu's dead body was found tangled among the bullrushes, floating face-down in the river.