Doreen Valiente - Witch

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Gerald Gardner Heritage Blue Plaque Press Release

A Blue Plaque to Honour the life of Gerald Brosseau Gardner, known as the Father of Modern Witchcraft.
Gerald's life was the subject of a recent television documentary, A Very British Witchcraft.
Born on 13th June 1884 Gerald almost single-handedly re-introduced this ancient religious belief system.
His first book High Magic's Aid was published in 1949, 4 years before the repeal of the Witchcraft Act.
Nowadays his form of Paganism known as Gardnerian Witchcraft is practiced by covens all over the world. On Friday the 13th (when else)?, a memorial Heritage Blue Plaque will be placed on the house he lived in during the war years and it was from this house he walked to his initiation into the New Forest Coven in 1939.
The day of events that will be held in Highcliffe, Christchurch in Dorset, which includes the unveiling of the Blue Heritage Plaque, has been organised by The Centre For Pagan Studies and founder John Belham-Payne says, 'Gerald is recognised as the most significant Witch that was ever born'. 'Gerald would have been 130 years old on Friday the 13th A full moon to boot!
This is only the second time that a Witch has ever been honoured in this way' said Ashley Mortimer, Trustee of the Doreen Valiente Foundation, an organisation set up to protect the artefacts that were once owned by Doreen Valiente, one time High Priestess of Gerald. Amongst the artefacts that will soon be the subject of a new museum, is the Book of Shadows that Gerald Gardner wrote and is the most valuable document in the Pagan World.
Gerald, a former British Civil Servant working in the Far East, died on his way home from the Lebanon, where he had spent the winter in 1964.
At breakfast on the Merchant ship The Scottish Prince, he had a heart attack and was buried in Tunis which was the vessels the next port of call. The only attendee at his funeral was the ship's captain.

Now, a colourful gathering of possibly hundreds of people will be turning up at his former home to celebrate his life with the Heritage Blue Plaque and followers from all over the world are travelling to see this happen. Ashley Mortimer and Philip Heselton (Gerald Gardner’s biographer) will be available most time before the event. John Belham-Payne at present lives in Southern Spain, but will be available by Skype or telephone at most times between now and the unveiling.

For radio or Television interviews, John will be in the Dorset/Hampshire area on Thursday 12th TV will be available at any time.

If you would like more details about the unveiling or the organisations involved or for interviews with any of those involved the contacts are as follows:

John Belham-Payne – Founder and Director of the Centre For Pagan Studies

Philip Heselton - Gerald Gardner’s biographer Email:

Merlyn - Head of Children of Artemis: Email:

If you need to download the flyer for this event please visit:
For information about the Centre For Pagan Studies and the Doreen Valiente Foundation visit: and