Visiting Museum of Witchcraft and Magic in Boscastle, Cornwall England

Since the beginning of recorded time, witchcraft, magic, and other aspects of the occult have been the subject of a wide variety of legends, superstitions, and myths.

There has always been a presence of magic in our world, even as far back as the time of the ancient Romans and Egyptians. It’s only that various people have different interpretations and practices of it.

In ancient times, it was a common way of life; in fact, it was even supported by rulers who used soothsayers, despite the fact that the messages of other holy scriptures advocated for its prohibition.

When most people think of witches, they conjure up memories of the infamous witch trials that took place in the Middle Ages at places like Salem in Massachusetts or Pendle Hill in Lancashire. However, were you aware that the persecution of witches in England continued all the way up to the 1950s?

The objective of the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic in Boscastle is to educate visitors about various aspects of witchcraft, including witches, folk magic, the occult, healing, and pagan beliefs, both historically and currently.

This museum of witchcraft in Cornwall should be at the very top of your to-do list if you’re seeking truly one-of-a-kind things to see and do in Cornwall. Here is a rundown of every incredible cause why it is imperative that you go.

Museum of Witchcraft and Magic


The Museum of Witchcraft and Magic serves as a museum that has been around since 1951. Its primary mission is to educate visitors about the long and illustrious past of witchcraft, magic, and the occult realm.

Within the walls of the cozy cottage that sits on the edge of Boscastle’s picturesque harbor is a museum that showcases more than 10,000 historical relics.

Talismans, paintings of ancient deities, books, brooms, and other oddities were among the items found during the witch trials. You may learn about anything you could possibly want to know about the mystical and the supernatural here.

In addition to having thousands of magical objects in its collection, it has recently gained a reputation for being an important educational resource. It serves as a bridge between comprehension and embracing something that is not always well understood by the majority of people.

Witchcraft and Magic History in UK

There are vast sections of history in the UK that can recount tales of magic, including alchemy, pagan rituals, wizards, white witch healers, and fortune-tellers. Some of these can be found in the UK.

There are ancient circles of stone and engravings there, as well as giants and faeries, including Queen Mab as well as Merlin from the Arthurian legends! However, things went from bad to worse in 1563, when it became law that practicing witchcraft was a punishable by death felony.

Around 200,000 people were executed, burned at the stake, or tortured to death for being witches in Western Europe between the years 1400 and 1750.

There were actually even ‘Witchfinder generals’ who were staunch Puritan preachers who were unrelenting in their quest for moral living. The majority of those who were suspected of being “witches” were either elderly, impoverished, and crone-like, or they merely had a cat.

They would be subjected to torture, trials, and a variety of other “tests,” during which it would be extremely difficult to demonstrate their innocence. Even though the practice of witchcraft was no longer punishable by death in the eighteenth century, people continued to be imprisoned for the crime.

The Witchcraft Act of 1735 was eventually overturned in 1950, at which point witchcraft ceased to be a criminal offense. After that era, the Witchcraft Museum opened its doors to the public; admission is free, and most significantly, exploring the museum is perfectly lawful.

The Founding of the Museum of Witchcraft by Cecil Williamson


Cecil Williamson was a British writer, film editor, Neopagan Warlock. As part of MI6’s fight against the Nazis, he established the Witchcraft Research Centre as well as the Witchcraft Museum.

He knew both Wiccan founder Gerald Gardner and infamous occultist Aleister Crowley.

When he was a little lad, he went to stay with his uncle in Devon, where he was exposed to witchcraft along with the occult for the first time. He intervened on behalf of a young woman he witnessed being publicly thrashed and accused of witchcraft. They started hanging out after that.

Cecil endured harassment at boarding school, too, so he learned to cast charms from a local witch. Later, when skiing, the bully hurt his leg. His interest in magic and divination deepened.

He persisted in his occult studies, and the MI6 eventually engaged him to lead their Witchcraft Research Centre throughout World War II. The Nazis, including Goebbels, were supposedly into using occult practices including divination and sorcery.

He first attempted to open a museum at Stratford upon Avon, but that endeavor was unsuccessful. In 1949, he moved the museum to the Isle of Man, where it is now known as the Folklore Institute of Suspicion and Witchcraft.

There he saw Gerald Gardner, to whom he would later sell the museum. Gerald Gardner was the permanent leader of that organization. Williamson subsequently relocated back to Uk and opened a business in Windsor, only to be driven out of town by angry locals.

The museum in Bourton-on-the-Water was set on fire by irate locals. Thus, in 1960, he relocated Cornwall’s Witchcraft and Magic Museum to Boscastle.

Museum of Witchcraft and Magic Worth Visiting


Even in modern times, the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic is considered to be one of Cornwall’s most popular museums.

It is known to pull in tens of thousands of interested vacationers, wizards, witches, neopagans, warlocks, as well as other individuals who have an interest in the occult and the mysterious each and every year.

If you are going to spend your vacation time touring the northern part of Cornwall, you really have to make time to stop by this amazing museum near Boscastle Harbour.

1. It is the Most Visited Place  in Cornwall

The fact that the majority of the management and operation of this museum is handled by volunteers, which has been the case for almost 60 years, is one of the aspects of this establishment that I admire the most.

It is frequently recognized as a leader in the tourism industry and welcomes thousands of travelers, students, and those learning to become witches to its archives.

This library is home to a one-of-a-kind collection of tomes devoted to the occult, including works of prose and literary works. I all, what could possibly be more fascinating than a cave-like Aladdin’s that is full of magical relics?

The name of the museum piques intrigue, and you nearly can’t wait to walk inside and check out what’s on display there.

2. Largest Witchcraft and Magic Collection


This museum is home to one of the most extensive and one-of-a-kind collections connected to magic that can be found anywhere in the world. Its little cottage houses more than three thousand artifacts, and its library contains more than seven thousand volumes.

This labyrinth is filled to the brim with fascinating artifacts and photographs that can be viewed in order to gain new insights at every turn.

Ancient talismans, strapped skulls, familiars, tarot cards, as well as a replica of a home once inhabited by a wise woman, were among the items that were used.

You are able to educate yourself on every aspect of magic both as a belief system and as an aspect of life. The manner in which it has been viewed and persecuted throughout the ages, as well as the manner in which it is still practiced today.

Why are cones thought of while referring to witches’ hats? What exactly is the connection between witches and black cats? Is there a true connection between witchcraft and the devil?

These exhibits will provide answers to questions you were not even aware you had.

3. Learn about Folk Magic and Healing History

Folk magic was practiced regularly in medieval times and continued into the 20th century. Practitioners of folk magic went by a variety of names, including clever folk, white witches, wise men, and pellars in Cornwall.

People with exceptional intelligence were frequently enlisted to combat witchcraft, end curses, track down criminals, or recover stolen property.

They were skilled in the arts of natural healing, beguiling, and fortunetelling, and they were frequently consulted for enchantments involving matters pertaining to romantic relationships.

They would create tinctures, talismans, and poultices, and put inscriptions on talismans for individuals to carry with them as a form of personal protection.

The word “moving to the pellar” became common parlance and was even used as a threat! Despite the fact that many intelligent women were also followers of Christ, the church condemned them as being in alliance with the adversary.

A reproduction of a wise woman’s home can be found inside the museum; it features tarot cards, a woman’s cat, and a variety of different herbs and potions in the surrounding area.

4. Witch Trials and Persecutions

Around the time of the Renaissance in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was when witch hunts and trials reached their height. Several of the crafty people and some of those who were believed to be utilizing witchcraft or dark magic were accused.

They were locked up, tormented, put through various tests, and in the end, if they hadn’t already perished as a result of the agony they endured throughout the prosecution process, they were put to death.

“Pilnie-winks,” which are thumb screws, and “case-claws,” which are a kind of leg iron warmed over hot coals, were used as methods of torture in order to obtain a confession.

In addition, they were subjected to a variety of tests, such as locating the Devil’s Marks. Birthmarks, moles, and warts have all evolved into reliable indicators throughout time.

There also took place swimming tests; if the lady were to drown, it meant that she was innocent; but, if she were to float, it meant that she had been taken over by the power of the devil and should be executed!

You can look up the names of a lot of witches and wizards who were burned at the stake here, and you can also view a lot of the equipment that was used to torture people during the witch hunts.

5. It’s full with Oddities and Magic


I just wanted to follow up on what I said before about how, when I was a kid, I recall wanting to take a look maybe a little bit closer at the renowned two-headed pig that was in the jar there.

When I was a youngster, I remember being equally frightened and fascinated by it. Before my most recent trip, I had almost convinced myself that I had seen it in a dream; nevertheless, after that trip, I was relieved to see that it was still present.

This is just one example of the fascinating and strange exhibits that can be found throughout the museum; every case will have something to look at that will pique your interest.

Fans of Harry Potter are going to be ecstatic to learn that this place has a sizable collection of mandrakes. These things have a long history of being linked to witchcraft.

However, there is no need for alarm because, despite the fact that they are poisonous, they were traditionally brewed to treat a variety of ailments.

Skulls of rams, human skulls attached to pentagrams, death masks, and taxidermy are some of the items that can be found here. This treasury is full of surprises waiting to be unearthed by its explorers.

6. Wonderful examples of Occult Art, Imagery, and Artifacts


Visions of witches, the so-called “horned god,” and other crafty people have undergone significant shifts over the course of history.

Witches were frequently portrayed as sexual perverts and were seen in images of the time period naked with demon creatures gathered around flames, and worshipping Satan. During this time period, the practice of witchcraft was widespread. They would be depicted riding broomsticks or clutching phallic things in their hands.

Women conducting sabbaths, enchantresses, and persons casting spells became popular subjects for portraiture during the Romantic period when most people had stopped trusting in magical creatures.

This practice has evolved into a kind of free expression throughout the course of time as a result of the acceptance of witchcraft and its subsequent commercialization.

There is currently a wide variety of artwork all throughout the world that depicts witches, the horned god, and pagan symbols in some capacity. In addition, there are a plethora of cartoons, storybooks, and characters that are witches.

Sculptures, portraits, as well as models are some of the things that may be found in the museum’s expansive art gallery and collection. They constantly add new pieces to their exhibit that are thought-provoking and have been acquired from around the world.

7. You can learn practices and modern beliefs

Despite the fact that movies, television shows, and literature have contributed to shaping some of our perspectives on witchcraft, magical practices, and the occult as we know them today.

Neopaganism, Wicca, and Druidry are all religions that are followed and believed in by a significant number of people in this country.

Astrology, spirituality, positive affirmations, gemstone healing, moon cycles, as well as things like manifesting are also examples of highly popular movements that have emerged in recent times. Something that is extremely similar to the way that traditional spells are cast by visualizing the desired outcome and reciting the appropriate incantations.

You may learn a great deal about contemporary occult and spiritual practices that take place in different parts of the world by doing some research online. Pagan practices, including celebrations of the solstice and equinox, as well as Druidry, Wicca, and even Satanism.

Even though practicing witchcraft is not against the law in modern times, there is still a risk of prejudice, misunderstanding, and persecution around it.

Therefore, if you visit this museum, you will have the opportunity to depart with a mind that is open or at least, you will be better informed.

Cornwall’s Boscastle—How to Get There?


On the western coast of North Cornwall, close to Tintagel, you’ll find the picturesque fishing community of Boscastle, which features a harbor.

If you have access to a vehicle, driving here will be the most convenient option; however, I must warn you that the winding roads leading up to this location can be challenging to navigate.

A huge visitor parking lot can be found outside of the tourist center at Tintagel, and its location is prominently signposted as you drive into the park.

If you would prefer to travel here via public transportation, you can take bus number 95 from Tintagel, which will bring you here in around 15 minutes.

From the parking lot, the short walk along the level road to the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic takes only around five minutes.

Opening Hours of Museum of Witchcraft and Magic

The museum is accessible from the first of April to the last day of October each year, as well as on some dates in December for special events.

Whenever the museum operates during the season, the following are the hours it is open:

  • Mondays to Sundays: open beginning at 10 am, with the final entry being at 4:30 pm. The museum closes at 5 in the afternoon.

How long should I visit Cornwall’s Witchcraft Museum?

Your time spent in the museum may be as brief or as extensive as you’d like it to be.  However, I would advise that you need to attend for at least half an hour at the very least.

The majority of visitors spend roughly an hour and a half in this location.

I believe that my friends and I were there for around an hour and a half since we liked reading all of the displays, seeing the exhibits, purchasing, and relaxing in their garden as well.

Boscastle Witchcraft Museum Tickets

The following is a list of the costs for tickets to enter the Witchcraft Museum:

  • Children (5 to 17): £5
  • Adults: £7

Free admission is provided to children under the age of five, and the only dogs allowed are registered service animals that must be kept on a leash.

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