Magical House Protection: The Use of Bellarmines as Witch-bottles

  • Henry Moore Institute
  • Wednesday, 10 April 2019
  • Lecture by Brian Hoggard in the Institute's seminar room, starting at 6pm

The use of bellarmines as witch-bottles to protect hearth and home from evil began around the middle of the 17th century. These fascinating bottles were imported in vast quantities into England from the Rhineland where the secret of making stoneware had been mastered. Once the usually alcoholic contents had been consumed these incredibly durable bottles could be re-used and their anthropomorphic qualities meant they were ideal for supernatural practices.

In this lecture Brian Hoggard will talk in detail about the origin of the bottles, their use in counter-witchcraft, early texts describing them and their place in the wider world of magical house protection.

About the speaker

Brian Hoggard is an independent researcher who has been working on the archaeology of counter-witchcraft since 1999. He has published many papers and appeared in several TV documentaries across the major UK channels and for ABC Australia. He has jointly organised two major conferences on the topic, the first in Norwich in 2016 and the second in Salisbury in 2018. There are plans for a third in Chester in 2020.

His book Magical House Protection – The Archaeology of Counter-Witchcraft will be published by Berghahn Books in April 2019. He has also written books about Bredon Hill in Worcestershire and another about Crusader Castles for an educational publisher in the USA.

He runs the website

Venue details

Venue address

Henry Moore Institute
The Headrow
United Kingdom
T: 0113 246 7467

Opening times

Now open: Tuesday to Sunday, 10am-5pm

Entry is free. As we are limiting visitor numbers, we advise booking tickets in advance:

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