The reflection of remembering ancestors still hanging in the air, we decided to lighten the mood for the morning and visit Port Isaac, home of Doc Martin I believe.
What a gorgeous picturesque village,the skies are blue (shock after weeks of grey and rain) the sea is twinkling and it’s pretty warm for October.
We meandered down to the harbour then the doctors surgery for photos. Lots of breaks though as it’s hard on hips here. And we had a mini picnic with flask of coffee, and coffee cake.
Just before heading off to Boscastle, we went to visit the harbour and walk to a cave. Big mistake, we went in for a photo, and the path we used had been submerged in 2 minutes!!
My photo just before it rushed in on us.
How fast was that, so cue us taking shoes off to wade back onto shore. It was up to our knees in less than 2 minutes. I would never have known the sea came in that fast.
After that excitement/ horror we clambered back to the car, to giggle over the adventure that was forced upon us.
And onto the next leg of our journey and that’s the Minster of Boscastle, to connect and honour a famous witch buried there, well just outside there. She had resided in the Witchcraft Museum for decades, but it was decided she deserves peace at last.
“Joan Wytte” was born in 1775 in Bodmin, Cornwall. She was sometimes called the “Fighting Fairy Woman” or the “Wytte (White) Witch”.
Joan was famed as a clairvoyant, and people would seek her services as a seer, diviner and healer. Her healing practices included the use of “clooties” (or “clouties”), strips of cloth taken from a sick person and tied to a tree or a holy well as a form of sympathetic magic, such that when the cloth rots, the disease was believed to dissipate.
Later in life, she became very ill-tempered as a result of a tooth abscess, and would shout and rail at people. She often became involved in fights where she exhibited remarkable strength and people came to believe she was possessed by the devil. She was eventually incarcerated in Bodmin Jail, not for witchcraft but for public brawling, and due to poor conditions in the jail, Joan died of bronchial pneumonia at the age of 38.
Her bones were disinterred and used for séances and various pranks, then later displayed at the Witchcraft Museum in Boscastle, Cornwall. It is said that, while her skeleton was on display in the museum, they started to experience disruptive poltergeists, and a witch was bought in to advise them, who said that Wytte’s spirit wished to be laid in a proper burial. She was finally laid to rest in a peaceful wooded area in Boscastle, and her gravestone reads: “Joan Wytte. Born 1775. Died 1813 in Bodmin Jail. Buried 1998. No longer abused”.
I have had the most awful tooth issues this weekend, was that a coincidence? And upon leaving we spotted the most beautiful cat, so graceful yet timid. I’m sure it was Joan saying thank you for visiting, and honouring her.