Tuesday, December 13, 2011

New Publication from Cassandra Latham-Jones

Have just read Village Witch by Cassandra Latham-Jones and wanted to recommend to you all. It is a brave, personal, heartfelt account  of the trials and tribulations of Cassandra's life and extraordinary career, incorporating the beauty and magic of deepest Cornwall with some humour and evocative photographs included. Beautifully illustrated it can be purchased from http://www.troybooks.co.uk/

Friday, December 02, 2011

Fab New Book

We've just been sent a lovely new book 'Mummmers, Maypoles and Milkmaids  -A Journey Through the English Ritual Year'. This large book is packed with amazing colour photographs and traces some of the many folk traditions and festivals that happen throughout our year. Some of the festivals are centuries old and some are more modern revivals but they are all interesting and the book is required reading for anyone interested in folk traditions. It is available on Amazon  and you can get to the publisher by clicking here for more information.

Friends AGM & Get Together

Great time had by all at the recent Get Together at the Wellington Hotel on November 19th. Interesting speakers including Tabitha Cadbury on Folk charms, Simon Costin on the latest news about the Museum of British Folklore, Steve Patterson on the Magic of Boscastle, and Julian Vayne stood in on very short notice speaking on the topic 'What I did on my Holidays' about his recent visit to Nepal. In the evening we had merriment and japes with music from The Jowsters who came up from Penzance, and the local singing group The Boscastle Buoys. Graham led the walk to Joan Wytte's gravestone through Minster woods on the Sunday. Judith Noble stood down as Chair and Elayne Hoskins has taken over this position. Deborah Westmancoat is now Vice Chair as well as membership secretary and Judith will now be secretary. There were a few stalls and a raffle which all helped to raise more funds. We are looking at making changes to the membership year, hoping to introduce rolling membership instead of the April to April timings we have at the moment. Thanks to all for your support throughout the year and we'll see you at the next AGM in 2012. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Website Problem!

There is a very serious situation with the website - it looks like the domain has been stolen and information changed. We have someone working on it at the moment hope to have it rectified as soon as possible.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Welly Rooms available for the Friends Do

There are still a couple of rooms available at The Wellington Hotel for the Friends do
If you would like to book you'll need to phone as their online system is block booked for the Museum so will show rooms as being booked out
the phone number is: 01840 250202

the rooms we still have available for the 18th and 19th are as follows:

1 x Standard Double - £50.00 per room per night
1 x Superior Double - £70.00 per room per night

1 x Superior Family Suite - £70.00 (for 2 sharing) - £110.00 (if the room is occupied by 4 persons)
(Double bedroom, Bunk bedroom, Bathroom where the bunk beds are suitable for adults)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

More Rumours

I'm writing this to allay any fears people may have if they are hearing ridiculous stories about the museum. It seems that despite Graham making it perfectly clear (at the recent PF anniversary meeting and other events) about his plans for the future of the museum, some people are still making up silly rumours and spreading them around the Internet and elsewhere.
Please note that the museum is NOT being sold off to the US, and the collection is NOT being split up and sold piecemeal to the highest bidder. The museum collection is IN TRUST and cannot be sold! The building is owned by Graham.
As most sensible people do, Graham is planning for the time when he will retire which is a few years away yet. Rather than risking the museum's future, he is planning ahead so he can ensure a suitable caretaker is found to lead the museum into its next stage of development. This may be at its current site in Boscastle or it may move somewhere else in the UK, this has not yet been decided. 
Understandably our visitors and supporters are concerned about the future of their beloved museum, but no one cares more than Graham and his staff. If anyone has any questions about the plans for the museum's future please email the museumwitchcraft@aol.com and ask. Please don't listen to rumours in pubs, moots, online or anywhere else.
Thanks again to everyone for their support and rest assured the museum is in safe hands.

Friday, October 07, 2011

October update

Attended Witchmarket in Glastonbury last weekend which a great event. lots of stalls and good to see so many friendly faces. The Old Oaks campsite was fabulous as ever - highly recommended - and Adele Clough's new shop & B & B (The Covenstead) are gorge.
Off to the PF 40th celebrations in London this weekend so hopefully we'll catch up with some of our friends up there.
The museum closes on the afternoon of Monday Oct 31st so if you're planning a visit come along before then. We will reopen April 1st 2012. It's been a very busy year so it will be good to have a bit of a break. Graham works 7 days a week during the season so it's nice to take a breath & relax for a while.
The Friends AGM is 19th November at The Welly - email invites & agendas have gone out & postal ones should be arriving shortly.

A big thank you to Friendly Dragon for their kind donation to Friends this week. It was great to see them on their latest visit.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Speakers at AGM

This year's AGM & Get Together will be held November 19th 2011 at The Wellington Hotel Boscastle.

Speakers are:

Tabitha Cadbury  Collecting Magic

 Tabitha says ~ My talk will focus on one aspect of the Museum of Witchcraft's collection, the everyday charms & amulets used by ordinary folk attempting to 'accentuate the positive' & 'eliminate the negative' in their lives. The objects in question include rubbing stones, moles' feet, WWI soldiers' amulets & Neapolitan glass charms. Using images of similar objects in museums all over England, I will point out how Cecil Williamson's collection interconnects with these through the late C19th & early C20th folklore movement & through collectors such as the prominent London folklorist Edward Lovett. Who collected these powerful things, & how have their meanings changed over time?

Tabitha Cadbury is a museum curator & researcher. She studied anthropology & world arts & has worked for the British Museum, Cambridge University Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology, Royal Albert Museum in Exeter & the Scarborough Museums Trust. She is an active member of the Museum Ethnographers Group & currently a Curator of Human History at the Plymouth City Museum. She is planning a doctorate on charms & amulets collections.

Elayne Hoskins Folklore on Film

Steve Patterson  The Magic of Boscastle

Simon Costin  Museum of British Folklore Update

Saturday Evening Musical Entertainment
Boscastle Buoys
and hopefully Tros en Treys TBC

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friends AGM & Get Together

'Friends' should, by now, have had the latest newsletter which announces the date of this year's AGM  & Get Together which is November 19th at The Wellington Hotel in Boscastle. Speakers are Tabitha Cadbury (Folk Charms), Steve Patterson (the Spirit of Place - Boscastle) & Elayne Hoskins (film show of folk traditions). There will be music in the evening TBA. Our Chair Judith Noble will be stepping down, as per the constitution of 6 year's maximum in post, so members will be voting on a new chair.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Glastonbury Witch Market

If you're in Glastonbury October 1st please come along to the Witch Market in the Town Hall between 930am & 5pm - there will be 47 stalls selling great gifts for Yule & beyond. The Occult Art company, who specialise in Museum items, will be there. In the evening there is entertainment as follows:

A Mystical Evening of Magical Music

Eleanore and the Lost Serpentyne

Matthew Callow, Jamie Black

Admission £10

All profit is being donated to the Museum of Witchcraft

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Library books

It has come to our attention that there is some misinformation out there regarding books donated to the museum's library so I would like to clarify this. All books donated to the library are are placed in the library. If they are duplicates of ones we already have, with the donor's permission, we choose whichever is the lesser quality and sell it to raise funds for the library. We have over 5,000 books as well as hundreds of documents relating to witchcraft and the occult. We have recently added more shelving to accommodate the growing number of books. There is no charge to use the research library but an appointment must be made and we do suggest that researchers become members of Friends. This is not compulsory. Friends is a charity which raises funds for the ongoing preservation of artifacts and books. If anyone has any queries about museum matters please contact the museum directly.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Corn Mother at Museum

We have the pleasure of the company of Gillian Nott this weekend. She is spending today & tomorrow outside the museum doing demonstrations of Corn Dolly making. She is very happy to chat to people about the history of corn dollies as she makes her very beautiful pieces. Here is a pic of Graham in the booth with a couple of Mell Dolls (containing apples) and Gillian herself at her table outside the museum. She is also selling some of her creations for, in my opinion, very modest sums. Gillian will be around tomorrow, Sunday, from around 11am to 4pm so if you're interested come along!

Fabulous Silver etc

A friend of the Museum, Marti Dean,  has just set up a new site for his amazing silver and artwork. The pieces are quite stunning. His Mandrake King features in The Museum of Witchcraft ~ A Magical History. It's definitely worth a look! Click here Marti Dean to check it out.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Guardians Of Magic Anniversary Celebration

Apologies fro radio silence recently but things have been very hectic with new books, conferences, new job etc etc etc....... The Guardians of Cornish Magic 60th anniversary celebration day was a great success and we are hoping to hold something similar around May next year. I am currently in talks with Steve Patterson, the chief organiser, as to what we can plan for the agenda.
It was held on May 14th and around 60 people attended on the day to hear talks around the themes of those who had been influential in the Cornwall landscape when it comes to magic, art, and folk tradition. The first talk was on founder of the museum, Cecil Williamson. Kerriann Godwin and Joyce Froome took the audience through a whistle stop tour of this fascinating man's life - from his meetings with wisewomen in both the countryside and the East End of London as a child, his time in Rhodesia with witchdoctors, his life in the Secret Service during WWII, and the development of his museum from the Isle of Man to Boscastle.
Jason Semmens spoke on that interesting collector of Folk tales William Paynter, and Dr Amy Hale flew over from the US to speak on the art and magic of Ithell Colquhoun.
It was a fascinating day and the feedback from everyone was very positive.

We then kicked off the evening with the launch of The Museum of Witchcraft ~ A Magical History - the 60th anniversary book edited by Kerriann Godwin. Thankfully it was a dry & sunny evening so we could all mingle outside the museum. I don't think everyone would have fit inside. It was great fun as everyone who bought a book was trying to get as many signatures as possible from the authors of each of the stories. Charlie & Sharon, a lovely couple who live in Boscastle, made us a gigantic cake with the Richel witch on the icing. It was extremely yummy!


We would just like to say a big thank you for the donation cheque of £47 received which was proceeds from a raffle held at the last PF Wessex conference. The PF is always extremely supportive of the Museum and we really appreciate it.
We also had a much appreciated  donation of £156.50 from the Witchfest raffle. The prize was a guided tour through the museum by curator Graham King. We are most grateful for the Children of Artemis' continued support and the money will be put to good use within the museum. Thank you!

Monday, May 30, 2011


We've started a new campaign to ask supporters to write a review of the Museum on Tripadvisor. We have a few 5 star reviews but it would be good if we had more feedback from visitors. Marti Dean has been down here for his birthday weekend and Graham has had him hard at work designing a new poster to request people to leave Tripadvisor feedback. Marti is well placed to get creative and design the poster as he's a teacher of computer graphics. He's using an image of a Green Man sculpture which is in the upper gallery. If you've been to the Museum and enjoyed your experience please leave us a review.

Simon Costin Hits the Big Time

Simon, director of the upcoming Museum of British Folklore,  has been getting some first hand experience at running a museum by helping out with us here in Boscastle. He's here for a few weeks learning about the ins and outs of museum administration, retail, visitor enquiries etc. Here he is writing an article about the museum's 60th anniversary for the Boscastle Parish magazine The Blowhole . I think he enjoys his daily ramblings down by the harbour as well. Here he is with Graham and a high sea in the background.

Patricia Crowther

The lovely Patricia Crowther has sent us a a great photo of herself with The Museum Of Witchcraft ~ A Magical History, our 60th anniversary publication. Pat has kindly written a fun anecdote about Gerald Gardner regarding a ritual sword and his trouser leg. Most amusing. The book has been selling really well. If you haven't yet bought your copy you can purchase one online at www.theoccultartcompany.co.uk or at the Museum itself. It's a limited edition book signed by Graham King the curator. A percentage of profits will be donated to Friends of the Museum of Witchcraft. Many thanks to Ian for taking the photo and sending it down to us.

New guest Book Drawing

We have a gigantic new guestbook which was made for us by Sue Bucklow. At our Guardians of Cornish Magic anniversary weekend we asked visitors to sign it and the lovely Lee Noble drew this amazing pencil sketch for us in a relatively short space of time. This weekend we are being visited by Craig and Spencer who are the boys behind www.handsomefolk.com. Here is a pic of them signing our book this morning.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Thank you Colchester

A big thanks to Colchester Pagan Group who recently donated £75 to the museum. This will be used for conservation of documents and archival material. We really appreciate it!!:))

Guardians of Magic

Just a quick note to say what a great success the Guardians of Cornish Magic was last weekend. Thanks to all the speakers. Will do a fulll round up in a few days as I'mm away from Bosacastle all week. Photos to  come.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A couple of nice reviews

Here's a good review of our CD Songs of Witchcraft & Magic

and a piece about the museum

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Pan addition

thanks to John Hooper who has donated a lovely Pan figure. This came from his garden - a fine piece of garden adornment indeed. He seems to be enjoying his new home in the Museum. Pan - not John:)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

60th Anniversary book now available at Occult Art Company

You can now buy the 'Museum of Witchcraft ~ A Magical History' online at www.theoccultartcompany.co.uk. It retails at £30.00 plus P & P. Thanks again to all the contributors.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

60th Anniversary Book

The Museum of Witchcraft Anniversary book has arrived & I will be sending contributors copies out over the next couple of weeks. They will be available to purchase online at www.theoccultartcompany.co.uk by the end of this week and will be on sale in the Museum later today. Pre-orders will be attended to during the week as well. The retail price is £30.00 and a significant percentage of profits will be donated to The friends of the Museum of Witchcraft.

There has been great feedback about the book already as I took some pre-launch copies to the PF Wessex Conference yesterday and sold a few there. The book launch on May 14th is looking like it will be well attended so looking forward to that!

Iain Steele

It was with some sadness but much pride that we took possession of the late Iain Steele's ritual tools and altar pieces at his home in Wales last week. We met with his wife Mary and son Andrew who passed over these items and we are very pleased to have them. Some pieces, mainly his stangs, are already on display but the plan is to show the altar as it was in its entirety so that will be done over this winter ready for display next year. here is a photo of Graham and Mary at Iain's altar.

Sunday, April 03, 2011


Here are the pics from the Cornwall, Devon & Isles of Scilly PF Conference as promised. .
Below are Jo O'Cleirigh, Morgana  from PF International with Joyce Froome
Damh the Bard visiting the stand and Steve Paterson waving at the camera.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Thanks to PF

A great day was had by all at the Devon Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Pagan Federation meeting in March recently and we'd just like to say thank you so much for the £150 donation made to the Museum as part of proceeds from the day's raffle. The cheque arrived only a week after the event so well done for being so organised.
It was great to have a Museum stall there so we could reconnect with old friends and make new ones. Morgana from PF International was there and told us about her plans for the new online version of her magazine Wiccan Rede. Joyce Froome came along and signed copies of her book Wicked Enchantments which has sold extremely well. We've just had to reorder for the season as we only have 2 left.
Jo O'Cleirigh was fabulous as ever speaking on his work on Egyptian archaeological digs and everyone seemed to particularly enjoy the photos of some rather priapically enhanced statues that his team discovered. Vivienne Crowley spoke on a new book she is planning on the Hare, and Graham gave a round up on what's happening at the Museum including a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday to kick off our 60th anniversary. Well done to Judith and all the organisers for their hard work in making this yet another successful event.
We're still awaiting the donation from the raffle at Witchfest in November last year. The winners of the raffle have booked their guided tour of the Museum in the next two weeks so we're looking froward to meeting them. I'll pop some photos of the PF event on shortly.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Opening On Friday April 1st

We're opening the museum on Friday so welcome to 2011!! Thanks to Gerry & Vannessa Greenslade and Dee Pearce who've worked tirelessly over the last few weeks to clean & paint the museum & generally get it ready for opening. Graham spent the afternoon cleaning & re-lighting the shrine so it should look spic and span by Friday. See you Friday or beyond.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Hot Floor Action

Graham & Dee have been a pair of old scrubbers this week as they try to transform the upper gallery floor that has been caked with 6 years of varnish & grime. We were going to replace the flooring but at around £600 it was just too expensive so with some specialist floor cleaning products & much elbow grease I think it's coming up a treat. Not sure if this pic shows it well enough but there is a distinct difference between scrubbed & unscrubbed.

German translation

Great news for German visitors. We have just received a full German translation of the guide book from Susanna Supper who visited the Museum last year and offered us a free translation. We will be putting the information onto laminated cards next to the accompanying exhibits as we have with the French translations.

Friday, March 04, 2011

60th Anniversary Book

Well all is very exciting as I have just sent the 60th anniversary book 'The Museum of Witchcraft~A Magical History' off to the printers today. A total of 47 people have put forward their essays/poems/artworks which have been collected in this book which will originally be published as a cloth bound limited edition of 250 copies. It also contains a short Cecil Williamson biography, an article Cecil wrote about his museums, a rundown on the Richel Eldermans Collection & a piece on the 2004 flood. See the previous post for info on the book launch date.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Day of Talks Coming up to Celebrate Museum's Anniversary

Friends of the Museum of Witchcraft

are proud to present

Guardians of Cornish Magic

A day of talks to celebrate the Museum’s 60th Anniversary


The Wellington Hotel Boscastle

May 14th 2011

In the 20th Century 3 people in Cornwall had a major effect on the worlds of Witchcraft, Magic and Folklore.Cecil Williamson collected magical artefacts in his now world famous Museum of Witchcraft, William Paynter was the last great collector of Cornish folklore, and Ithell Colquhoun’s love of the Cornish landscape influenced her art, her writing and her magical practice.

1030 doors open

1100 Cecil Williamson - Life of an Occultist by Kerriannn Godwin and Joyce Froome
Williamson founded of The Museum of Witchcraft 60 years ago in 1951 and this talk looks at his fascinating life before and after the Museum’s inception.

1215 The Cornish Witchfinder: William Henry Paynter by Jason Semmens
Paynter was a folklorist, antiquary & bard of the Cornish Gorsedd who collected witch-stories & folklore during the 1920s & 30s. His writings are the last great collection of Cornish Folklore.

1315 lunch break

1415 Ithell Colquhoun’s Magical Cornwall by Dr Amy Hale (anthropologist)
Surrealist artist, poet and essayist, Colquhoun had a passionate relationship with Cornwall whiich lasted over 40 years. We look at her art, writings and magic and see how her perspectives on Cornwall intersected with wider cultural movements such as Cornish nationalism, the earth mysteries movement and the development of Paganismin the latter half of the 20th century.

1530 Break

1830 Anniversary Book Launch at The Museum of Witchcraft upper gallery

The Museum of Witchcraft ~ A Magical History
a collection of personal memories celebrating 60 years
published by The Occult Art Company in conjunction with Friends of the Museum

Cost for the day ~ £10.00 on the door (prebooking preferred to avoid disappointment)

Concessions for Friends of the Museum ~ £6.00

Book launch ~ free

Donations welcome

Reservations can be made by contacting museumwitchcraft@aol.com or 01840250111
Payment should be made on the day by cash or cheque & tickets are to be picked up at the door

at least half an hour before doors open

Monday, February 14, 2011

Library expands & aniversary plans.

Due to the ever-increasing numbers of books which are being donated, the library is expanding into the kitchen. Graham is busy painting and putting up shelves in readiness for an onslaught of news books. On the subject of books, the anniversary book is going well with all submissions in and most of the author biographies done. Designing the cover this week so hopefully it can get to the printers by end Feb. Fingers crossed. Steve Patterson is organising a day of talks to go along with the book launch for May 14th. We are confirming it this week so I'll let you know details shortly.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011


Just a quick update on the database - all is going well with the data entry and it is proving a great boon to researchers. We have heard there are people who may have issues with the database. If any one has any concerns please contact the museum directly so we can address any problems personally. We always prefer people to have a dialogue with us directly rather than having misinformation spread around. Hannah is looking after things at the moment and Graham will be available from Feb 9th. So once again please speak to Graham directly for any information regarding the museum. It will be the best place to find out the facts.