It has been a long summer and Joan’s Garden in front of the Museum has looked great for most of the year. If you don’t know, this is a garden (paid for by the Friends of the Museum) where each plant has a sign next to it explaining its use in magic, herbalism or folkloric beliefs about it. After several windy days in Boscastle, it desperately needed a tidy up. The Museum Manager, Judith set to work this week with a little help from some very special people…
Above: the garden before after a long summer and some strong winds.
Above: the garden after, cut back and tidy for the winter ahead with around 100 daffodil bulbs planted for spring.
Above: some heathers planted for a little winter colour.
Above: the wishing well with the cauldron plant pot filled with cylamens.
Judith was “helped” by Tom, the Museum dog (above) and Agnes Emily Hewitt now four months old (below).
We have had lots of invitations to present talks this year – it seems like there is more interest in witchcraft and magic than ever. In 2017, we have spoken at Lifton History Group, St Breward History Group, St Tudy History Group, The Cornwall Association of Local Historians and the St Columb Probus Club.
On top of this, three different members of the Museum team presented talks at the end of October/beginning of November.
First up was Joyce Froome who spoke to around 50 A level students who visited the Museum on October 31st. They are studying the Witch hunts in early modern Europe. While half the group looked around the Museum, the other half enjoyed a talk by Joyce in the library on the Pendle Witch case (Joyce published a book on this subject called “Wicked Enchantments: the Pendle witches and their magic”).
Later that evening, Judith Hewitt travelled down to Falmouth to give a talk at a Halloween party at a yachting club. She spoke about the history of the holiday and the possible origins and meanings of some of the aspects of Halloween (such as pumpkins, the supernatural and costumes etc.). One of our best sellers on the online shop this year has been the guidebook we wrote on the topic of Halloween for 2016’s exhibition.
On November 1st, it was Peter Hewitt’s turn to present. He was invited to speak by the Women’s Institute near Exeter on the topic of Witchcraft in the West Country. Peter discussed notable witches such as Anne Jeffries and Joan Wytte but the majority of his talk revolved around the Cecil Williamson archive. Cecil founded the Museum and the documents in the archive include information on individual witches he met and the objects that they used and created. Below: a slide from Peter’s talk showing Cecil’s notes.
All talks were well received and we look forward to reaching out to more interested parties in the future! If you would like a member of the Museum team to speak to your organisation then please contact Judith Hewitt via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ve had a great year at the Museum, we’ve been open every day from April 1st to October 31st. Now it is time to close our doors for the season.
The Museum will be open at the following times: this Saturday (November 4th 2017) for a candlelit evening 7pm-10.30pm. Last entry 10pm. This is open to the public, no need to book for the candlelit evening, just pay on the door and enjoy the Museum at night.
We will be open for a week during the holiday period. We will be open daily from December 26th to January 2nd (inclusive). The Museum will be open from 12pm-5pm on these days (last entry 4pm).
We have limited staff during our “closed” season so it may take us slightly longer to reply to emails or phone messages than usual.