Thursday, April 17, 2014

Great visitor feedback

You may have noticed that the Museum has a little wooden box in the shop (near the entrance/exit) into which visitors can place their comments and thoughts about the Museum.  We thought a good way to get to know the Museum would be to read through these comments and we were overwhelmed at the positive responses and the love which people have for this special place. 

Some of the best comments are displayed outside the Museum on the board and this was changed on Monday.  It sounded like an easy task at first but it proved more problematic than anticipated due to the warping of wood etc.  We (mostly Peter) persevered and the new comments are now on display for all to see...

We’re going to start tweeting some of the comments that we receive to share all the wonderful words that people have to say about the Museum with all our friends and supporters out there in cyberspace!  Keep your eyes open on Social Media.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Sea kayaking

Judith, co-manager of the Museum writes:

Peter and I first visited Boscastle one wet and stormy weekend in January.  We were told then that the Harbour was ideal for sea kayaking but it was difficult to believe it at the time!  Today is a glorious spring day and Graham (and Malcolm) have taken out the sea-kayaks.  Since we moved down here, Graham has been an essential friend and helper.  He worked his socks off to get the Museum ready to open, he has befriended us both and made us feel so welcome.  He has trained us in the day-to-day working of the Museum and we owe him a great deal.  It is days like today when I imagine he enjoys his retirement...

The trip went well - Graham caught his first pollock of the season!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Open Sesame

Project Open Sesame is almost complete – most of the doors are in position in the Museum, and we now have the plaques engraved with the donor’s names, which will be put on the doors this week.  Look forward to seeing photos on this blog in a few days’ time!

Museum of Witchcraft welcomes Syd Moore

Author Syd Moore visited the Museum this week to research her latest novel, which is about the famous Essex witch Ursley Kempe.

She generously donated copies of her two previous books, Witch Hunt and The Drowning Pool, to the Museum library. One is about the Matthew Hopkins witch hunts, and the other about a 19th century Essex fortune teller who was persecuted by her community.

It is always fascinating to exchange ideas with writers, and always a delight to meet one who is passionate about research and doing justice to the subject of witchcraft. Syd was very enthusiastic about the Museum’s collection, and particularly interested in Cecil Williamson’s vivid account of how he dug up Ursley Kempe’s skeleton at St Osyth.

We wish her well with her book, and are sure it will be an excellent read.

Simon recently paid a visit to an old friend, Ralph Harvey to discuss some donations to the museum. Ralph's purple ceremonial robe, Book of Shadows and 'Great Rite Belt' are just some of his things already on display in the Modern Witchcraft section of the museum. One interesting item is the original oil painting by Tom Paddle, which was rejected by Ralph's US publishers as being, 'too racey' for the cover of his book, 'The Last Bastion: The Suppression and Re-emergence of Witchcraft - The Old Religion'. We are delighted that Ralph has passed on this piece of social history. Ralph has a fine collection of magical objects and working tools, so expect to see some interesting thing added to the collection in 2015.

Judith Hewitt, the new manager, writes about her first week at the Museum of Witchcraft...

It was lovely to arrive in Boscastle last Saturday.  My husband Peter, and co-manager of the Museum, was already here, having moved down three weeks ago.  We quickly settled into our new flat and went out for a great meal at the Wellington Hotel.

I did my first day’s work in the booth on Monday.  Peter and Joyce showed me the ropes and we have had a couple of busy days already this season.  It is wonderful to be working at the museum and the weather has been lovely for the past couple of days.  We look forward to welcoming you to the Museum of Witchcraft!

World War One Charms

Now in our new window display at the Museum of Witchcraft.

To mark the 100 year anniversary of the beginning of the First World War, we have moved some of our fascinating WWI charms to the window display.

Ranging from poignant crosses inscribed with famous battles, to rare stag heads (see our window display!), to 'Fums Up' dolls, these objects were used as amulets to protect the wearer from danger.

See also our First World War magical morale booster - a pin cushion in the form of Kaiser Bill which encouraged Brits to inflict pain upon the German leader whilst doing their sewing!

Welcome the Easter Holidays at the Museum of Witchcraft

Happy Eostre!

Come and see our wonderful new window display, created by Marti Dean (

Here's what Marti said about the piece:

"Of the animals connected with witchcraft and magic, the stag is closely associated with the Horned God of Witchcraft. With roots set in the pagan histories and traditions of Europe, the symbolism of the stag has been represented in a variety of ways, from the Neolithic painting of the antlered 'Sorcerer' within the cave Trois-Frères in France, to the Gundestrup Cauldron, a piece of Iron Age silverwork depicting the Celtic antlered god Cernunnos.

For some modern witches, the stag–god Cernunnos is recognised as the horned god of nature and magic, and thus is celebrated in the rituals, art, and magic of modern witchcraft. This anthropomorphic sculpture of a green stag with branch-like antlers symbolises the magic of the regenerative force in nature. The objects hung on the antlers will be changed throughout the coming year.

The practice of decorating eggs is a very ancient tradition. Sixty thousand year old engraved ostrich eggs have been found in Africa, whilst gold and silver eggs were commonly placed in the graves of Sumerians and Egyptians as early as 3000 BC."

The antlers have beautiful Easter eggs suspended from them - watch this space to see new objects hung here according to the season!

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Pan gets a make-over

On Friday, Woody, the maker of the fantastic willow Pan, who has graced the outside of the museum for the past year, came down to give Pan a little TLC in readiness for the new season. We are most grateful to Woody for allowing Pan to once more dance outside the museum and for making the time to give him a throughly good oiling.

Monday, March 03, 2014

Kate Moss a victim of Witchcraft?

Spotted this on the tube today, the unlikely combination of Kate Moss clutching a pinned poppet of herself. Whatever next?

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Mark Hearld to produce a special 'Witches Familiars' print for the museum.

The widely collected artist/printmaker Mark Hearld, has agreed to produce a special print for the museum, featuring a selection of witches familiars. The print will come out later in the year and will be available both online and in the museum shop and will help to raise funds for the museum.

Mark studied illustration at Glasgow School of Art and then completed an MA in Natural History Illustration at the Royal College of Art, London. You can read more about Mark's work here -

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Museum survives the recent bad weather.

Now that the weather seems to have settled a little we can report that the only damage has been to the large sign, on the inside wall of the museum, which is visible from coaches as they drive into Boscastle.  There has been some general maintenance going on, with Graham fixing one of the security camera's and the annual task of cleaning the museum has started.