Cornwall, England
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Boscastle, Cornwall, England         OS Map Grid Ref: SX097908
 The County of Cornwall
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Boscastle clings to the sides of a deep coombe formed by the rivers Valency and Jordan with a third river, the Paradise, flowing through the village. Being the only port along twenty miles of the north Cornwall coast, Boscastle porspered until the arrival of the railways which led to its decline and is now one of Cornwall's most picturesque and historic tourist locations.

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The Museum of Witchcraft is housed in the disused watermill.

The Bowcastle Blowhole is an unusual feature at the entrance of the harbour; the blow becomes audible as the water surges into the cave under certain sea conditions just after low water.

The Museum of Witchcraft is housed in the disused watermill.

St Juliot Church, 1.5 (1 mile) from the village was restored in the 1870's. The famous West Country novelist Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), still practising as an architect, worked on the church.

The Old Rectory where Hardy stayed welcomes visitors as a guest house.

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Flooding on Aug 16th, 2004

Heavy rains dropped some 50mm (2 inches) of on the moors saturating them and a narrow band of clouds uncharacteristically rising to 40,000 (where normally they would be prevented from doing so by high pressure) dumped about another 125mm (5 inches) of water on a comparatively compact area over some five or six hours. The floodwaters overran the banks of the two rivers which meet in the village to be augmented by water running down the steep sides of the coombe which makes the village so picturesque. The resulting torrent, up to a metre deep, tore through the steep streets of the village at 40 mph.

Six RAF and one coastguard helicopter were scrambled and the rescue operation, which started in the afternoon of Monday 16th and lasted until two the following morning, was co-ordinated from RAF Kinloss. The lifeboats from Port Isaac and Bude also assisted in the rescue. The helicopters wiched up people stranded on rooftops and in cars and a baby was wiched to safety in a rucksack.

About 120 people were evacuated form the village, six buildings have collapsed and at leasy fifty cars have been swept away. The force of the water even tore up roads. A number of people were airlifted to the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro to be treated for minor injuries and shock but there seem to be no major injuries and, while three people were missing for a time as families were separated, there was no loss of life.

Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott visited the area to offer his support and praise the efforts of the emergency services . . .

You can only admire the sheer professionalism of our service, which is a great comfort when we are in these difficulties, whether it�s a train crash or a flood like this

Half of the village was still cordoned off on Tuesday as teams searched the debris, buildings and cars who people who might have been overlooked, buildings were surveyed for safety and a massive clean-up operation began.

As well as the destruction which has been wrought on Boscastle, the livlihoods of many residents are heavily reliant on tourism with many businesses normally doing most of their annual business during only two months - August and September.

The Environment Agency also issued more flood warnings affecting thousands of homes in north Cornwall. To warnings for the River Camel and the River Allen, the River Kensey at Polson Bridge near Launceston, and the Rivers Neet and Stratton at Bude have been added and, while the river levels are expected to recede, more heavy rain is forecast on Tuesday 17th.

Nearby Tintagel (legendary birthplace of King Arthur) and Camelford were also inundated by torrential rain and parts of Bude were reported to be under six feet of floodwater in the worst flooding in the area for 50 years.

The floods hit Boscastle almost exactly 52 years to the day after floods swept through Lynmouth, in Devon, killing 34 people. The two incidents are remarkably similar; two rivers meet in each of the villages and both suffered the same freak weather conditions. Fortunetely casualties were very low with no fatalities at Boscastle as the incident occured in the afternnon. The flooding of Lynmouth took place in the dark of the night.

see also:   Flooding

A church service of thanksgiving for the miracle that there were no fatalities or major injuries during the flash flood was held at St Symphorian's parish church on Sunday, August 22nd.

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Crystal Cave

Awaiting Information
Crystal Cave,
The Bridge, Boscastle, Cornwall PL35 0HE
tel:   01840 250248

Look 3d

Awaiting Information
Look 3d,
The Bridge, Boscastle, Cornwall PL35 0HE
tel:   01840 250248

The Museum of Witchcraft

The Museum of Witchcraft is one of Cornwalls oldest and most popular museums. Its collection of artefacts demonstrates that witchcraft was an important part of rural life and that magic still influences everyday life. Healing, cursing and folk magic are amongst the many subjects explored in depth in this fascinating and spellbinding museum.
Opening: Easter to Halloween, 10.30am - 6.00pm daily
Sundays 11.30am - 6.00pm
Admission: Adults �2.50, Children and Seniors �1.50
The Museum Of Witchcraft,
The Harbour, Boscastle, Cornwall PL35 0HD
tel:   01840 250111


see also:   Museums in Cornwall

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Thomas Hardy   (1840-1928)
Before he achieved fame as a writer, Thomas Hardy practised architecture and worked on St Juliot's church about a mile from the village. It was also here that he met his wife-to-be, Emma. Hardy based his novels on places he knew and much of A Pair of Blue Eyes (1873) is based on places in or around the village. The Old Rectory where Hardy stayed now welcomes visitors as a guest house.

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1873Publication of Thomas Hardy\'s novel A Pair of Blue Eyes
The novel was basaed on places in and around Boscastle, Cornwall where he met his wife, Emma

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