Saturday, December 28, 2013

We would very much like to wish all our readers the very best for 2014 and hope that you all had a restful and Happy Yuletide/Christmas/Holidays!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

And so it begins!

We are soon to begin the process of Accreditation for the Museum. For those unfamiliar with the process, "Accreditation is the UK standard for museums and galleries. It defines good practise and identifies agreed standards, thereby encouraging development. It is a baseline quality standard that helps guide museums to be the best they can be, for current and future users."

There are many benefits to us in becoming an accredited museum, such as demonstrating that we meet a national standard, which will strengthen any applications for private or public funding in the future and generally helping our status. It also helps should we ever want to have items on loan from another museum. 

And so the form filling starts!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Woods for sale

We don't normally put 'For Sale' pieces on the blog but we are making an exception as a good friend of ours has a lovely woods for sale in the Holsworthy area of Devon. Details here . It is nicely secluded and has a small shack & pond.  If anyone is interested please contact the Estate Agency.

Horniman Museum Workshop 23rd November

Last Saturday, Simon Costin, Joyce Froome, Steve Patterson and Helen Cornish took part in an amulet workshop, ‘Cosmologies of Care’, at the Horniman Museum in London.
The workshop was an unmissable opportunity to handle some of the Horniman’s remarkable and beautiful amulets from Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and compare them with amulets in our collection.
There was then a series of presentations by our team and the other participants – Rashad Salim, Iraqi artist and expert on the geometry of magic, and Beverly Butler, Anne Lanceley and Mike Rowlands from University College London – which provided some fascinatingly varied insights into the importance of magical objects.
Many thanks to Tom Crowley, Johanna Zetterstrom-Sharp and all the rest of the Horniman team involved in organising a very enjoyable and thought-provoking event.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Room available

A room has just become available for the AGM at the Wellington due to the person now staying with friends. If you're coming to the AGM but can't find a room you may get it if you're quick 01840250202

Special Halloween Visitors

I couldn't resist putting this lovely photo of Barney & Twiglet on the blog. Their owners, who had made the special Halloween coats themselves, were visiting the Museum on Thursday and were happy to give their permission for their doggles to be on the website. They really put a smile on my face. Am hoping to urge Graham to get a small dog now that he has more time. The photo was taken by filmmaker Tom Chick who was visiting at the time. 

Friday, November 01, 2013

Nothing is changing - just a new manager!

The Museum of Witchcraft has a new manager – nothing else changes – it is the same company.  It is not moving for at least 5 years and all of the procedures and protections remain the same.  It will still be called The Museum of Witchcraft.
I hope this reassures you


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Other reports?

A comment was made about 'other reports' saying the museum is moving to Sussex or Dorset . Let us be clear that the museum is staying in Boscastle for at least 5 years. That is official!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


Graham would like to announce that as of the 31st Oct 2013, he will retire as Director of the Museum of Witchcraft and Simon Costin has been appointed as the new Director.

The management of the museum will now come under the umbrella of the Museum of British Folklore. The entire contents of the museum and library has been donated to the MoBF to ensure its survival as a single collection and it will remain in its current location and will continue to run as an autonomous
entity. Simon has obtained charitable status for his museum and so this will be extended to encompass the Museum of Witchcraft. There are many benefits to be gained from this, from Gift Aid to tax relief.

Graham will be fully involved with the transition period and the appointment of the new manager. Simon very much looks forward to the continued support of the Friends of the Museum of Witchcraft and a special newsletter will be issued shortly with more details.

We hope that you will be as excited as we are about this development. As you can imagine it is very busy at the moment so if you have any queries it would be best to email. Graham will also be presenting further information at the Friends AGM in November. 

"I am so pleased to have found a body of people that have the skills and passion
to take the museum on into the future. I am sure that it will continue to
thrive. I am also sure that its collections will continue to be preserved to
educate and inform future generations."
Graham King

"I am hugely honoured to have been asked by Graham to take the reins of the
museum and greatly look forward to working on its growth and future over the
coming years. The museum holds one of the most unique collections of witchcraft
related material in the world and to be able to play a part in its ongoing
development is hugely exciting. I will do my utmost to ensure that my passion
and understanding of the museum's collection will hold me in good stead for the
next phase of its life'.
Simon Costin

kind regards on behalf of the Trustees of the Friends of The Museum of Witchcraft

Kerriann Godwin

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Museum of Witchcraft Learning - Update

Why are witches often imagined as women? How did witch-hunters in 17th century Europe discover witches? Would you be prepared to stab a picture of someone you love, and if not why not? Why do some people think that four-leaf clovers are lucky?

These and many other questions are raised by our new learning resource which can be found at The aim of the project is to use objects from The Museum of Witchcraft Collection to spark conversations and learning about the history of witchcraft and magic, criminality and justice, scapegoating, human psychology and much more.

At the website you'll find pictures of selected objects from the Museum collection. Each photograph comes with a series of questions intended to stimulate discussion and debate (some short films will be added soon, where staff from the museum introduce each object). Weblinks are provided with each object so that students can do their own research. There's information about ways the site can be used for both teachers and learners and of course links to the main Witchcraft Museum site.

We hope that this resource will be useful not only in the history part of the Secondary school curriculum but also in areas such as Personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education, Religious Education and more. We also hope that schools outside Britain and people in many other educational settings (such as youth groups, colleges, adult learners and many others) will make use of this resource.

We've created a survey to capture feedback from users, and we have access to Google data showing the number of people visiting the site. Over time we hope to add more objects and a gallery of work created by people using this resources.

What's next?
The next stage of the project is to encourage people to use the site. This is where your help could be invaluable! If you're a teacher yourself please try using this resource. If you have contacts in education who you think would benefit from the site, please send them the link. We've already got several organisations we plan to approach to raise the profile of what we're doing, but please do get in touch if you have any great ideas about marketing or individuals you feel we really should be speaking to. Thank you!

Julian Vayne

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Rumour Mill

One has to wonder at the motives of certain people who are spreading more and more rumours about the museum's collection being broken up and sold off. A very wise person chose to phone Graham this evening to ask him the truth about such rumours. He was able to put this person's mind to rest and ensure them that the museum collection is in trust and can never be broken up. Rest assured that the museum is thriving. It is going from strength to strength and will continue to do so for generations to come.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

US Students

It's been a great 2 weeks with our annual group of American interns spending their days cataloguing some our incredible archives, dipping their toes in the local beaches and walking the Cornish coast paths. A bit of a departure from their usual lives in New Jersey. As always they were a lovely group of people who worked very well in the library. They're all heading home this weekend so hope the Heathrow delays won't affect them too  much. We'd like to thank them and their Professor Michelle Tartar for all their hard work. Looking forward to seeing another group next year. There'll be a writeup about their time here in the next Friend's newsletter.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Thanks to Friendly Dragon

Thanks very much to Friendly Dragon in Halifax who have just donated £40 to museum - very generous as they are also looking for new premises for their fabulous shop at the moment. We wish them good luck in their search.

Boscastle, Cornwall: a video guide

Saturday, June 22, 2013

@witchmuseum makes it onto 101 Top Twitter Feeds for Learning About World Religions

I'm pleased to let you know that @witchmuseum has been featured on the recently published list of 101 Top Twitter Feeds for Learning About World Religions.

Check out the complete list here:

This list has been built to show readers, and current and prospective theology students, some fantastic resources for learning about many religions around the world. While much of their site's focus is on Christianity, the editor believes it's important for anyone studying theology to understand the broader global context of religion. They think our Twitter feed will do a great job of helping our readers diversify their knowledge and broaden their faith.

The editor welcomes feedback and questions, so you can tweet to @TheologyDegree.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

New Media Button

Check out the new 'Media', button on the museum's website.....This is just the start - we hope to include archive footage, interviews etc on the site soon.
Click on this link to go straight to the media page.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Request for Museum Stories

I’m Helen Cornish, an Anthropologist at Goldsmiths College in London. I have been carrying out research around the Museum of Witchcraft for a while. I’m interested in collecting stories about people’s encounters with the objects and displays in the museum. Does anyone have any interesting stories, favourite objects, or encounters with the unexpected that you would like to share ...? Please get in touch via:

Monday, May 27, 2013

May 18 Event

Having been away working for a week I have just had a chance to check on the finances of last week's event at the Wellington Hotel for the museum. After all costs were covered Friends managed to make a profit of £115 which will be donated to the museum for conservation work. Thanks to everyone involved and to all of you who came along on the day to support the museum.

Notice of Art Exhibition from Sarah Vivian


The Bank Square Gallery

From Saturday 25th May 2013 to Friday 14th June 2013

This exhibition showcases work by five talented and diverse artists –
Tamsin BridgeHayley MallettEric PentecostNicholas Smith and Sarah Vivian, who will be providing a feast of spring colour.

Our opening hours are:
Mon-Fri 10.30am – 5pm, Sat 10.30am – 4pm, Sun closed

R.S.V.P.   5 Bank Square, St. Just-in-Penwith, Penzance  TR19 7HH
01736 788222

If you would like to join our e-mail list, please feel free to provide us with your details (these will never be given to a third party).

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Tools of the Trade Speakers

All our speakers at yesterday's event - Left to right - Gillian Nott, Levannah Morgan, Brian Hoggard, Louise Fenton.Photo courtesy of Simon Costin

Witchcraft Traditions ~ Tools of the Trade

A great day was had yesterday as our annual May event took place at The Wellington Hotel. We had around 70 attendees which was a slight increase on last year. The day started with Gillian Nott speaking on The Spirit of Corn, looking at the history of straw work through the ages and showing us some of her amazing handmade creations. Next was Levannah Morgan who spoke about 'the art of magical working' which features in her new book 'A Witch's Mirror' - she also signed copies of the book throughout the day and sold out so if you would like a copy they are available though Cappall Bann. After lunch Brian Hoggard gave a fascinating talk on his work with items which are found within the walls of homes, e.g., dried cats, shoes etc. Dr Louise Fenton closed the day with a talk on her research on the poppets in the museum. She has managed to identify some of the actual people involved in the spells - very interesting. I will shortly put a photo of our speakers on the blog and also contact/website details of Brian & Louise.
Thanks everyone who attended on the day - the profits made will be used by Friends of the Museum of Witchcraft to assist in library conservation work.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Online Shop Changeover

The Museum will shortly be taking over the online shop and selling stock direct rather than going through The Occult Art Company which will be closing so it can focus on new projects mainly in the realm of publishing. The new website is almost complete and should be opening shortly. In the meantime you can still order through TOAC via the link on the MOW website. The Museum would like to thank TOAC for all its work with the online outlet and we look forward to working together on its new projects which will be unveiled shortly. 
The museum has just introduced a new line of posters from some of the early artwork which can be seen in A Magical History ~ A collection of memories celebrating 60 years. We're down to the last 20ish of the paperbacks so once they're gone that's it. 

Remember you can follow us on Twitter for the most up to date info.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Latest Tripadvisor Stats

According to Tripadvisor The Museum of Witchcraft is now the number 1 museum in Cornwall and number 8 of all attractions in Cornwall. Very exciting news!

Monday, April 01, 2013

Artistic Signage

Local Artist Helen Setterington (originally from Yorkshire) has just completed a new painting for our sandwich board sign which we place by the bridge to let people know where we are. It's a reworking of our previous sign with rather festive new colors. Helen has her art gallery in The Old Forge in the harbour and usually specialises in seascapes so this was a bit of a departure from her usual work. We think it's great - if you're visiting Boscastle let us know your thoughts. Here are some pics of Helen outside her gallery, and with her new sign.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Painting through the Ages

Here are a couple of pics of the chaps painting the exterior - Graham last week and Cecil last century.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

May Event 2013

Witchcraft Traditions

Tools of the Trade

A Day of talks for The Museum of Witchcraft

Saturday May 18th 2013

The Wellington Hotel

Boscastle PL35 0AQ

10AM till 4PM


Gillian Nott: Spirit of the Corn
  - Harvest traditions

Levannah Morgan: A Witch's Mirror - The Art of Making Magic

Brian Hoggard: Within Walls - Traditional
protection within the home

Dr Louise Fenton: A Cabinet of Curses -
A study of the people behind the poppets held
in the Museum of Witchcraft

Tickets are £10.00 each and will be available
on the door unless sold out - notification will
be on the website.

These events are very popular 
so please email 
or phone on 07896150852
to reserve a place.

Join us for a day of interesting talks, book-signings, raffle, great conversation and fabulous surroundings