In the long glass case in the hall was a book, a very special book. A first edition by Margaret Murray but carrying an ex libris bookplate signed with the name Montague Summers. According to my host, throughout the text Summers has written comments and corrections on Murray’s work. The modern witch finder critiquing the Goddess mother of Wicca. This was just one of the amazing objects I encountered recently while staying at The Covenstead an occult themed B&B which stands opposite the grounds of Glastonbury Abbey.
The magnificent interior, on first glance looks like a stage set, rooms one might glance into while shopping along Diagon Alley. But this place is really closer to the Boscastle Museum of Witchcraft than something from the entertainment industry. In a book case in the dining room (where high backed, lavishly carved thrones encircle the enormous table) is the complete first edition works of Kenneth ‘Slime Lord’ Grant. Then there are those framed letters to Gerald Gardner at The Witches Mill in the Isle of Man. There are original African carvings, a series of fabulous prints from the Richel collection (one of the premier collections of modern magickal regalia held in Boscastle), one case is filled with cups and saucers sporting designs to enable the reading of tea leaves, there are cauldrons, broomsticks and much more…
Our host is Adele, a charming and erudite occultist, she runs the Covenstead where, as well as simply staying overnight, workshops are held. These happen in the temple room which features pentagram rugs, and a magnificent 4ft high brass incense burner amongst other delights.
The night following The Book of Baphomet Launch Party Nikki Wyrd and I were invited to stay in the Dark Goddess Suite at The Covenstead. With its vast gold four-poster bed, huge bath, luscious shower (featuring peppermint and walnut bodyscrub), original oriental lacquered and inlaid wardrobe…frankly it doesn’t get much better than this!
Still buzzing from The Launch Party I recall reclining on the chase long in our room, reflecting on the astonishing attention to both overall quality and detail that The Covenstead demonstrated. As someone who spends a lot of time working with inspiring environments (ie museums) this place simply blew me away.
So, if you have a chance get yourself along there; either for a workshop event, or simply to sample the exquisite feeling of staying in the most authentic and magickally intoxicating B&B in Glastonbury.
PS – for those who missed the launch you can catch up on the talk that Pete Carroll gave HERE