Who doesn’t love visiting a place full of beautiful landscapes and enchanting folk magic legends?
The county of Cornwall is located in the southwestern region of England and is home to several historical folk magic stories. People who like to explore the dark and witchy side of popular destinations should consider visiting Cornwall to look at different witchcraft-related artefacts. In the process, they can also learn more about the witch trials of the county.
From exploring the British occult community to understanding the modern pagan witchcraft of the county, you can do it all during your stay in Cornwall. In this blog post, we will walk through the top 10 sites that are folklore centres for famous witches.
Let us begin!
Top 10 Witchcraft History and Places To Visit In Cornwall
1. Museum Of Witchcraft And Magic
Located in the village of Boscastle, The Museum of Witchcraft and Magic has the world’s largest collection of witchcraft artefacts. Hence, tourists from all over the world visit this site to gain a deeper insight into the culture of British magical practice by exploring sections like the wise woman’s Cottage.
The Museum of Witchcraft, formerly known as Folklore Centre of Superstition and Witchcraft, was opened by the former film producer Cecil Williamson after the second world war. His interests prompted him to create a safe space for the exhibition of witchcraft and magic. Eventually, Cecil Williamson sold it to Gerald Gardner, a man who worked with him. He had also attempted to open a witchcraft museum before but reconsidered his decision after massive local opposition.
A few of the several items in the collection of the Museum of Witchcraft include ritual components, spell books, divination tools, charms, a Hitler pin cushion, and folk magic artefacts. The exhibition in this museum helps people understand the ceremonial magic of British folklore from different periods and regions.
Apart from a fascinating exhibition, The Museum Of Witchcraft And Magic offers visitors interactive displays and educational resources. This helps promote the concept of magical practice respectfully and can help witchcraft enthusiasts better understand the field.
2. Bodmin Moor
If you are looking for a rugged wild moorland in Cornwall, visit Bodmin Moor. Both history and mythology enthusiasts can enjoy exploring the rich heritage and magic legends of this site.
One of the best things about Bodmin Moor is its architecture. You can find beautiful Tors made of granite, ancient stone circles, and mystical burial chambers in this moor. It is particularly popular among people who like visiting sites that were used to carry out rituals and ceremonies for witchcraft and magic.
Located on the northeast coast of Cornwall, this site boasts an extensive collection relating to a huge range of stories and myths. It has been inhabited since the Neolithic era and is home to the remains of several ancient civilisations. You can learn about various interesting stories that took place here, such as the tragic life of Charlotte Dymond, a woman who fell prey to the brutality of her lover.
3. St. Nectan’s Glen
St. Nectan’s Glen is in north Cornwall and is famous for its wooded valley, natural beauty, spiritual significance, and sacred ritual offerings. This glen was named after St. Nectan, a Celtic saint during the sixth century. He was associated with several miracles and healing procedures and died in the same chapel.
Many people believe St. Nectan’s Glen is a mystical energy site. It is also said to be associated with several witchcraft and magic legends of the county. However, the most notable feature of this site is its 60-foot waterfall called St. Nectan’s Kieve. The water falling into the sacred basin of the waterfall is definitely a stunning sight to look at!
While people visit St. Nectan’s Glen for various reasons, most tourists come to experience its meditative and spiritual qualities. The spirituality of this glen is nature-based, which makes it all the more attractive to people who value magic stories based on the elements of nature.
4. Zennor Church
As the name suggests, Zennor Church is located in the village of Zennor in Cornwall. It is about 1400 years old and was built to pay tribute to St. Senara. A popular church in the county, it is best known for its interesting witchcraft and magic legends.
The church is said to date back to the 12th century and is popular among witchcraft enthusiasts for its intricately-carved bench ends. One of these bench ends depicts the tale of the Mermaid of Zennor, which is quite famous among the witchcraft-enthusiasts of the region.
The story of this mermaid can be understood by local folklore that tells us that her name was Morveren. She visited the church one day, and Matthew Trewhella, the son of a churchwarden, fell in love with her. Morveren is believed to have indulged in sea witchcraft to take Matthew with her, who was never found again.
This story has brought in countless tourists from all over the world to visit the church to gain a deeper insight into the witchcraft and magic stories of the site.
5. Pengersick Castle
Paranormal and witchcraft enthusiasts also like to visit Pengersick Castle, which is situated near Praa Sands in Cornwall. It was built during the 16th century and has interesting stories of the ancient times associated with it. The castle is believed to be once inhabited by the Pengersick family, who was suspected of practising witchcraft.
While there are several stories of different kinds of witches who lived in this castle, one of the most popular ones is that of the Pengersick witch. She lived in this castle during the 16th century and was considered a cunning woman. The collection of stories of the Pengersick castle tells us that she practised dark magic and troubled innocent lives for fun. She was ultimately outwitted and banished by a brave villager.
Even today, visitors who explore this castle report feeling an unexplainable dread as they walk through the walls. Several people claim to have seen scary sightings, heard loud sounds, and experienced sudden drops in the temperature inside the castle. This is why people interested in the history of witches like exploring this castle.
6. Joan’s Garden
Joan’s Garden is near Pengersick Castle, and you should consider visiting this site if you are on a journey to explore the history of witches in England. It is also known as Joan Wytte Cottage Garden and is popular for the life story of the woman whose name is associated with this site.
It is believed that Joan Wytte was declared to be a part of the cunning folk groups in the region. Also known as the fighting fairy woman of Bodmin, Joan was a cunning woman who practised healing techniques during the 18th century. Although she possessed ample knowledge of natural remedies and medicine, she was accused of witchcraft and keeping connections with evil spirits.
She was captured and detained in the Pengersick Castle, where she spent the last days. Joan died in captivity, but her tragic story made her an inseparable part of the witchcraft historical legends of the region. You can explore the garden to experience the heritage of healers and white witches in Cornwall, and even pay respect to Joan’s tombstone.
7. Madron Well
Madron Well is situated near Madron village in Cornwall. It is considered an important site for its association with witchcraft and magic legends. People interested in practising pagan groups also like to visit this well for a deeper insight into its history.
This site has been considered a centre of spiritual healing and significance, and several occult groups and enthusiasts visit Madron Well every year. It has a rich history since the well is believed to have been used for various healing rituals for centuries by magic practitioners.
People interested in history also like to visit Madron Well, as it was allegedly a pre-Christian worship site. During that era, pagan rituals were carried out by the local Celtic population of the region.
However, after Christian missionaries arrived, it became associated with a Celtic saint, St. Madron, who had exceptional healing abilities. It is also believed that during certain special occasions, such as May Day, witches circled this well to do magical rituals.
8. St. Michael’s Mount
St. Michael’s Mount is a popular site in Cornwall, famous for its stunning views and interesting folktales. While there are no direct connections between this mount and witchcraft, St. Michael’s Mount is related to the Cornish tales of witchcraft and magic.
The island has been named after Archangel Michael, and several legends claim that he protected people from evil forces. According to Cornish folklore, several witches and other supernatural beings were restless and active on the feast day of St. Michael (Michaelmas). Hence, a mount that is named after a mysterious figure is bound to boast some supernatural phenomenon too.
While history, religion, and defence enthusiasts love to visit this site for its significance in the respective fields, its connection with folklore also lures witchcraft and magic enthusiasts. You can explore the island as much as you want as long as you get in before the last entry time. However, reserve a spot in the main village car park, as it can get very crowded during the day!
9. Carn Euny Ancient Village
To visit a well-preserved ancient village, consider checking out Carn Euny Ancient Village. The history of this village allows users to understand the magical tools, traditions, and beliefs of the civilisations that once inhabited the region.
Carn Euny has beautiful houses with stone walls, mystic underground passages, and a central courtyard. The village is believed to have been aligned with several celestial events, such as the winter solstice. This implies the connection between Carn Euny and rituals tied to seasons.
One of the most popular attractions of Carn Euny is St. Euny’s Well. You can explore this village to gain a deeper insight into the positive aspects of witchcraft and magic. It is an ancient tradition to leave certain offerings in the well, such as tokens, as a mark of gratitude for the healing powers of the well.
10. Mary Maidens Stone Circle
Finally, you should consider visiting Mary Maidens Stone Circle as you explore the different witchcraft sites in Cornwall. It is situated near St. Buryan, and this prehistoric stone circle is included in several witch legends of the county.
This site has a perfect circle (diameter of about 23 metres) consisting of 19 granite stones. While the purpose and origin of this circle are not mentioned anywhere, it is believed to be more than 3500 years old.
According to the local folklore of Cornwall, each stone is considered a young woman. It is believed that the group of young maidens was turned into stone as they were dancing on the Sabbath. Some legends claim that anyone who dances in this circle during the night of the full moon will be blessed with magical powers or cursed forever. Hence, this site is definitely worth a visit if you want to explore witchcraft sites in Cornwall to uncover the dark past of this county.
The exhibits and cutting-edge scholarship programs make sites like the Museum of Witchcraft extremely popular. However, several other sites in Cornwall feature items like crystal balls, goddess statues, fortune telling, ritual swords and so on, as mentioned above.
Certain sites also have shops from where you can purchase witchcraft items for your personal collection. Visitors from all over the world buy tarot cards, ouija boards, etc. from Cornwall to explore their witcraft hobbies.
From the legends of the Horned God to Aleister Crowley, you can learn much about witchcraft in Cornwall through sensationalist displays on various sites. But check the timings before visiting any site to ensure you reserve a car park spot or book public transport on time!
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