Sunday, September 21, 2014

New Window Display

We have a new display in celebration of autumn and the harvest.  It features a wide variety of corn art created by Gillian Nott.  The pieces are truly beautiful and look fantastic on Marti Dean's stag's head.  This 'kern babby' has this poem near it.

Corn Dolly Poem ( Anon.)
 "Tis but a thing of straw" They say,
Yet even straw can sturdy be
Plaited into doll like me.
And in the days of long ago
To help the seeds once more grow
I was an offering to the gods.
A very simple way indeed
Of asking them to intercede
That barn and granary o'erflow
At harvest time, with fruit and corn
To fill again Amalthea's horn.

If you are in the area, come and have a look!  

Book now for October afternoon workshops at the Museum of Witchcraft...

Steve Patterson presents a series of four afternoon workshops throughout October 2014.  4 sessions, 2-4pm, every Thursday in October in the Boscastle Museum of Witchcraft. £50 for course.

To book, please contact the Museum of Witchcraft by email: or phone 01840 250111.

The individual sessions are as follows:


THURS 2nd OCT, 2014. 2 – 4 PM
An exploration of the work of Cecil Williamson; the Museum Of witchcraft and its place in the development of our idea of magic.

Thurs 9TH OCT, 2014. 2 – 4 PM
What is magic? – An exploration of Ideas of magic through the ages, from the dark caves of the Palaeolithic, to the cunning folk of the windswept moors and the splendours of high magic.

THURS 16TH OCT 2014. 2-4PM
An exploration of Different aspects of traditional witchcraft; from the dark world of the Sabbat to the ways of the West Country wayside witch.

THURS 23 0CT 2014. 2-4PM.
The wayside witch and the landscape. A short introductory talk about the relationship between the witch and the land. Including the “Talking stick”, “pulse spots” and “putting the sun to bed”. Followed by a short walk around the magical landscape of Boscastle Harbour.

Steve Patterson is a folklorist, writer and woodcarver who lives and works in West Cornwall. He has been on television and radio, lectured extensively in both London and the West Country and his writings on west country folklore and magical traditions have appeared in a number of journals and anthologies including “The Cauldron – journal of witchcraft, Paganism and Folklore”, “Serpent songs” and “The Museum of witchcraft – a magical history”. He has also written an extensive ‘natural history’ of Cecil Williamson and the Museum of Witchcraft including a number of Cecil Williamson’s unpublished manuscripts –“Cecil Williamsons book of witchcraft” (Troy Books 2014). He has worked as a volunteer in the Museum of Witchcraft since 1996 and many of his woodcarvings may be seen within. After giving one of his lectures in the Museum of Witchcraft, one Dutch student commented –“Mr Patterson …you have a head like a museum!”

Friday, September 19, 2014

Video filmed in Museum Library now available to watch

A couple of weeks ago Steve Patterson was interviewed in the Museum library about his book on Cecil Williamson (the founder of the Museum of Witchcraft).  The video is now available to watch. Thanks to Troy Books for providing us with this.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Unique visit to Dartmoor

Last Saturday Joyce and Kerriann met up with a group of Swiss witches at the beautiful setting of the Nine Maidens stone circle at Belstone on Dartmoor. Leading the group were Wicca and Biba and their gorgeous German Shepherd Cheyenne of the Swiss Witchcraft Museum Hexenmuseum Schweiz.

It was the perfect location to talk about how traditional magic explores our relationship with the natural world, as we handed round examples of the wealth of magical objects derived from Nature – including a swallow’s feather, an ammonite, and a lovely hazelnut charm from the Museum.

It was fascinating to learn more about Swiss magical traditions, which cast new light on some of our objects. In Switzerland ammonites were associated with snakes, and were thought to give the power to speak the language of animals. A Swiss folktale tells how a girl was given three hazelnuts that granted her three wishes. And apparently if a church minister looked at his congregation through the cross-shaped hole on the end of his church key, he would be able to see which of them were witches!

Wicca has recently written an excellent book about amulets and talismans, and kindly donated a copy to the museum library (see photo above). Remarkably, it includes a section on the strange animal muzzle amulets that have been puzzling us ever since one was donated to the Museum in 2012. Now, thanks to Wicca, we know that it was worn as protection against impotence caused by witchcraft!  Photo of the amulet below.


Monday, September 15, 2014

Radio programme to listen out for this Friday

The Museum of Witchcraft shop now stocks Levannah Morgan's book A Witch's Mirror the Art of Making Magic.  Levannah will be doing a radio interview about the book on an internet radio station this Friday at 6pm.  You can listen to the interview using this link 

and buy the book from us

Friday, September 12, 2014

Winter opening

This year, the Museum will not be closing completely for the winter.  We will be open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10.30am to 4pm (last entry at 3.30pm) in November and December.  We will also be open every day of the Christmas period except for the major holidays (see below for exact dates)

Open 10.30-4pm December 20th-23rd
Closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day
Open December 27th-30th
Closed New Year's Eve and New Year's Day
Open 2nd-4th

We will then be completely closed from January 5th until the Easter school holiday (around March 23rd) when we will re-open for the 2015 summer season and be open every day until October 31st.

This new opening is a trial and we hope that it will be supported by visitors to Boscastle, local businesses, Friends of the Museum and by local people who may not get the chance to visit the Museum themselves during the busy summer months.  Our Museum shop and online shop will also be open for business if you are looking for unusual Christmas presents.  

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Lots of new shop stock now available on online shop

Over the summer months we've tried out some new lines in the Museum shop.  Some have proven very popular with our visitors and have now been added to our online shop.  Have a look - we have new jewellery, books, keyrings and assorted witchy wares!

Monday, September 08, 2014

Museum of Witchcraft takes part in Boscastle Food Festival

This year we will be taking part in the very popular Food Festival here in Boscastle.  We'll be offering people who visit the Food Festival £1 off their entry to the Museum and we will also have a stall in the Museum shop with food stuffs for people to try and buy.  

The products are all made in Cornwall and sold by local company, Luscious Lucy Cornwall.  Holly forages for ingredients herself and creates beautiful products to traditional recipes.  She is going to bring a range of syrups, jams and other assorted loveliness - one particular highlight will be warm spiced drinks made with elderberry.  Pop in, buy and support the Food Festival on Saturday October 4 and Sunday October 5th.

Coincidentally, this is also the weekend of our last candlelit evening of the year so if you come along and enjoy the Food Festival during Saturday then you can visit the Museum in the evening between 8pm and midnight at the discounted rate.