Monday, February 08, 2016

Talk at Cornwall Association of Local Historians

On Sunday, Judith and Peter (the Museum managers) presented a talk to the Cornwall Association of Local Historians at their annual AGM.  The theme for the conference was "Whatever the Weather" and talks focused on Cornwall and the weather.  Judith and Peter talked about Witchcraft and the Weather.  The talk was favourably received and they were approached about talking at other Local History Societies.  The Museum will always try to speak at functions if they can.


A couple of weeks ago several members of the Museum team (and extended family) went to a wassail near Camelford.  It was good fun.  Here is the text that we were given.  Hopefully it will continue to grow in popularity and we can go again next year.

Friday, February 05, 2016

Museum Managers to deliver talks at Folklore Society Conference in April

In April, there will be a three day event in London called Reflected Shadows: Folklore and the Gothic.   Judith and Peter Hewitt (the Managers of the Museum) will each be delivering a talk/paper at this Folklore Society Conference.

Judith will be exploring the idea of Halloween as a folk phenomenon expression of a Gothic sensibility while Peter will be looking at the Museum and its collection (with a focus on human remains) and considering to what extent it can be seen as a Gothic Museum.

More details on these talks to come...

Jos Smith "Witches and eggshells" finds a permanent home in the Museum

Last year, the Museum hosted a fantastic exhibition of illustrations by Jos Smith.  These images originally appeared in Erica Jong's book "Witches"

Jos Smith has very generously donated one original artwork to the Museum.  The painting is called Witches and Eggshells and fits in perfectly in our display on Sea Witchcraft (see photo below).

This picture is also available as a high quality art print and a blank greetings card.  The print is the same size as the original painting (80cm x 45cm).
We also have one more Jos Smith picture which is available for sale as an blank art card only.  It is of a beautiful night-time scene and shows a young woman cutting herbs.  A copy of this picture will be going on display in our re-displayed upper gallery (due to open March 25th).

Saturday, January 30, 2016

The Museum is CLOSED

Sorry but we are closed for the winter.  Irrespective of what anyone reads anywhere else (there seem to be some inaccurate websites out there) the Museum is currently CLOSED.  This is what our website says and this is the truth!  We are closed for refurbishment and will re-open on March 25th.

Article on Ursula Kemp

Article about Ursula Kemp and her memory/legend.
Thanks to Graham King for bringing this article to our attention.

We have 12k followers on twitter!

Hello to all our followers!

Witch's house in America

Interesting article on amazing house in America!

Exhibition in Manchester

This new exhibition entitled Magic, Witches and Devils in the Early Modern World sounds really good.

The Witch film

New film coming soon called "The Witch".  Trailer can be viewed online:

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Happy to announce our next exhibition

Last year, we created a temporary exhibition space in the Museum.  Our first temporary exhibition was Witches and Witchlore: the illustrations of Jos A Smith and it has been very well received (the Museum team were all sad to see it go!)

Our next exhibition will provide us with an opportunity to explore a key topic (which we haven't had space for in the Museum before) and that topic is Halloween: its history, customs and developing culture.

Here is the poster for our new exhibition.  Many more details to follow soon.

William Worthington Cernunnos painting

This evocative painting by William Worthington will be re-hung in a more prominent position in the newly refurbished upstairs gallery. William's work was recently featured in the British Museum's 'Celts' exhibition. This painting is an alternative version of the Cernunnos card from William's Druidcraft Tarot card deck.

The Museum when it was in Bourton on the Water

The Museum received a fascinating email with attached photos from Jeremy Heath (a member of the Museum's Friends organisation.  We are so grateful to him for sharing his research with us!

Here are some extracts from the email and some of the accompanying photos:

"I read, with interest, your diary entry about the possible location of the Museum of Witchcraft in Bourton-on-the-Water. I live and work very close to Bourton... I have been a "friend" of the Museum in Boscastle for over two years, attending one of their talk days in the "Welly". I have been visiting every year since 1979, and love the collection and it's growth and change over the years. I purchased Steve Patterson's book about Cecil Williamson and found it extremely fascinating, especially the history of the different locations."

S"o today I visited Bourton-on-the-Water to try and verify the location of the museum, in the 50's and 60's." 
Photo: Getty Images

"I have visited the "Toyshop" many times and had no idea it was connected to the museum in Boscastle, however I did find an old photo online of the entrance and I have tried in the past, to identify exactly where it was. But today I discovered that because of a new building being erected in the last 30 years, its location was disguised. But today I discovered it's exact location thanks to your diary entry, saying about the Toy Shop."

"I found the entry doorway almost shown on the old photograph and the window above. I found the exact same street (High Street), but where there is a gap or an alley between the museum and the next shop, a new building has been erected, a gift shop called The Cedars, which I discovered has been in business for 30 years. This has altered the view, but I took several photographs to show it IS the place. Indeed, as you can see there are large stones outside the entrance, two of which are still there, and I have compared the wall stonework and it IS the correct location. I took several other views and the buildings along the street are definately identical to those in the old photo."

Photographs courtesy of Jeremy Heath Copyright of photographs on these pages is retained by the owner where acknowledged.

Ithell Colquhoun Project events in Cornwall

The Museum just found out about a series of workshops which sound fantastic!  They have been organised by Steve Patterson, Penny Macbeth and Lally Macbeth and will explore the artist Ithell Colquhoun's surrealist techniques and methodology.

Please circulate this to anyone who might be interested.

New look for "Old Hornie"

One of the most popular and memorable parts of the Museum is the upstairs gallery where a large goat headed creature sits.  He is nicknamed "Old Hornie" and has been a feature of the Museum from its early days.  We are very excited to announce that he will be going through another re-invention when we refurbish the top gallery of the Museum (his domain!)

He used to wear white...

For many years, he has worn red...

Now he will wear a new robe, which is green (see photos below of the robes).

The small tunic to the right will go under the larger robe.

And he's getting new legs too!

Monday, January 11, 2016

The British Book of Spells and Charms by Graham King coming soon!

Graham King ran the Museum for many years.  He has written a fantastic book of spells and charms (which will be available to buy from the Museum shop soon).  You can watch a film about the book here:

With thanks to Troy Books.

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Museums at Night case study

For the past couple of years, the Museum has taken part in Museums at Night activities. To quote from the Museum at Night website:
"Twice a year, non-profit cultural publisher Culture24 invites all UK museums, galleries and heritage sites to throw open their doors after hours to showcase their treasures in unexpected ways.

Museums at Night is an opportunity for museums and galleries to come together around a single, simple campaign that is attractive to venues, audiences and the media. It’s a social experience, where visitors can get involved, delve deeper into fascinating subjects and perhaps enjoy a cocktail or two with friends."

Initially, we ran a candlelit evening and on October 31st, we extended our involvement by not only opening for the evening by candlelit but also by hosting a series of events (organised for the Museum in the main by Cassandra Latham-Jones).  

Culture 24 were looking for interesting examples of Museums at Night events this year so Judith wrote a piece for the case study section of their website.  It can now be read online:

The Museum provided the photographs, the videos were inserted by Culture 24 and should have been credited appropriately.  

Radio 4 programme on Yule