The Museum of Witchcraft in England Holds the World’s Largest Collection of Witchcraft Memorabilia


The Museum of Witchcraft and Magic is located in the little village of Boscastle in Cornwall, south-west England. Housing authentic exhibits devoted to Freemasonry, Wicca, folk magic and ceremonial magic, the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic has the largest collection of witchcraft regalia in the world.

Museum of Witchcraft in Boscastle (vor der Flut 2004), Cornwall. Photo Credit
Museum of Witchcraft in Boscastle (vor der Flut 2004), Cornwall. Photo Credit

Founded in 1951 by English folk magician Cecil Williamson, who needed a place to keep his personal collection of artifacts, the museum was first initially known as Folklore Centre of Superstition and Witchcraft and was located in the town of Castletown on the Isle of Man.

A sculpture of the Horned God of Wicca at the museum Photo Credit
A sculpture of the Horned God of Wicca at the museum Photo Credit

The prominent Gerlad Garden, who was the “Resident Witch,” assisted Williamson at the museum. However, after their friendship declined, Williamson sold the museum to Gardner, who renamed it the Museum of Magic and Witchcraft.

Model of a cunning woman at the museum Photo Credit
Model of a cunning woman at the museum Photo Credit

In 1954, Williamson opened his own museum in England and named it the Museum of Witchcraft. The museum changed between various locations, as it was often a victim of vandalism.

A Boscastle Witch
A Boscastle Witch.Photo Credit

Finally, in 1960, Williamson established the museum at Boscastle. Six years later, he sold the museum to Graham King, who included the Richel collection of magical regalia from the Netherlands in 2000. The museum was renamed in 2015 to The Museum of Witchcraft and Magic.

A tarred head
A tarred head.Photo Credit
A weighing contraption to see whether someone was a witch (The Witch Trials). If someone was lighter than the Bible they were deemed a witch
A weighing contraption to see whether someone was a witch (The Witch Trials). If someone was lighter than the Bible they were deemed a witch.Photo Credit
A Witchy Scene
A Witchy Scene.Photo Credit

Most of the exhibits in the museum are artifacts related to cunning folk and historical folk magic.

Ankle Shackle (The Witch Trials)
Ankle Shackle (The Witch Trials) Photo Credit

There is a room in the museum named “Joan’s cottage” which recreates a traditional cunning woman’s cottage.

Bell Book and Candle
Bell Book and Candle. Photo Credit

Book of ShadowsBook of Shadows.Photo Credit

Cernunnos (Celtic God Figure)
Cernunnos (Celtic God Figure).Photo Credit

The museum also houses exhibits devoted to the witch trials in the early modern period, esoteric practices such as ceremonial magic, Freemasonry, alchemy and the modern Pagan religion of Wicca.

Fox Mask
Fox Mask.Photo Credit
Green Witch) Witchcraft and healing (healing potions) - The Museum of Witchcraft - Boscastle, Devon
Green Witch) Witchcraft and healing (healing potions) – The Museum of Witchcraft – Boscastle, Devon Photo Credit
Hand of Fate The Museum of Witchcraft - Boscastle, Devon
Hand of Fate The Museum of Witchcraft – Boscastle, Devon.Photo Credit
Magic of Christianity - The Museum of Witchcraft - Boscastle, Devon
Magic of Christianity – The Museum of Witchcraft – Boscastle, Devon Photo Credit
Neck Shackle (The Witch Trials)
Neck Shackle (The Witch Trials) Photo Credit
Phallic wands - The Museum of Witchcraft - Boscastle, Devon
Phallic wands – The Museum of Witchcraft – Boscastle, Devon. Photo Credit
Poppets
Poppets.Photo Credit
Runes Stones
Runes Stones.Photo Credit
Scold's Bridle Witche's Bridle (The Witch Trials) -
Scold’s Bridle Witche’s Bridle (The Witch Trials) –Photo Credit
Snake Charms
Snake Charms.Photo Credit
The case of the Pregnant Nurse
The case of the Pregnant Nurse Photo Credit
The Hare Woman made in the 1960s by Lionel Miskin
The Hare Woman made in the 1960s by Lionel Miskin.Photo Credit
Witchcraft and healing (healing potions) - The Museum of Witchcraft - Boscastle, Devon
Witchcraft and healing (healing potions) – The Museum of Witchcraft – Boscastle, Devon.Photo Credit
witchs-broomstick
Broomstick.Photo Credit
House spells
House spells.Photo Credit
witches-broomstick
witches-broomstick.Photo Credit

Several artifacts in the collection belong to prominent figures in the history of witchcraft and magic, such as ritual chalice used by the Thelemite magician Aleister Crowley or ritual swords used by  the noted Wiccan Alex Sanders.

Thanks to The Vintage News for this incredible article.


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