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The Great Hall of Hogwarts

Listed under Film Locations in Oxford, United Kingdom.

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Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Dir: Chris Columbus, 2001).

The Great Hall of Christ Church College, Oxford University, Oxfordshire, England.

I’m sure that many Harry potter fans, both young and old, will be disappointed to hear that the external shots of Harry’s fantastical magic academy Hogwarts were largely computer generated. Worse news is that the internal scenes were shot at six different locations so it’s difficult to get a sense of what fits where on the Hogwarts map. The good news is that Hogwarts’ Great Hall is very real, and even better you can visit it - and possibly even eat there if you can get accepted to attend Christ Church College, part of Oxford University. If you’re not accepted you can still have a wander through and enjoy the majesty of the place which the film captures and only exaggerates slightly with the floating candles. The filming wasn’t actually done in the Great Hall at Christ Church, the hall was copied and rebuilt as a set, but it looks (as you would expect from the Harry Potter art direction team) identical.

The scenes in the Hogwarts quadrangle were shot in the cloisters of Durham Cathedral and most of the internal shots of classrooms and the rooms of the teaching staff were shot at Lacock Abbey near Chippenham in Wiltshire. These two locations are easy to visit and won’t be disappointing for fans expecting an ancient supernatural atmosphere - there is even a real cauldron in the room used for Professor Quirrelli’s Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom (which was a personal highlight.). The broom flying lesson scenes took place at Alnwick Castle, Northumberland and the Hogwarts infirmary where Hermione is taken when she gets turned to stone was shot at Oxford University’s Bodleian Library.

If you’re a real Harry fan you’ll be interested to hear that the cruel Dursleys house, where Harry grows up locked under the stairs, is a real house, address 12 Picket Post Close, Martins Heron, near Bracknell, Berkshire, but it’s just a suburban house, not really worth visiting…

Written by  Film Fan.

Other expert and press reviews

“Gloucester Cathedral - Hogwarts School”

By Linsey McNeill for 'The Observer' First Published: July 20, 2008 Gloucester Cathedral was one of three locations used for Hogwarts School in the Harry Potter films. The cloisters will be easily recognisable as the gothic corridors of Hogwarts, and a… Read more...

Written by press. Full Article from 'The Guardian' Website

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

Harry at The Reptile House, London Zoo

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Dir: Chris Columbus, 2001)

Long before Daniel Radcliffe ever considered branching out into the world of Ricky Gervais comedy and naked stage performances in Equus, he was talking to snakes. London Zoo's Reptile House marks the spot where J.K.Rowling's idea for the magical boy wizard comes alive for the first time. As Harry peers into the enclosure through milk bottle lensed glasses, he begins to speak Parsel tongue to a Boa Constrictor. Liberating the reptile into the tropical jungle of Regent's Park, Harry discovers his powers. The first of many scenes filmed in landmarks around the U.K, the reptile house sets the precedent for the dark, magical tone in the rest of the films as well as being a hallmark for the constantly surprised, over excited performance child actors do so well.

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