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13/04/2021

The Harry Potter Cotswold connection

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Gloucester Cathedral has been a place of worship for over 1,300 years since 678 when a religious community was founded by Osric with his sister Kyneburga as the first Abbess. The cathedral is recognised for its Gothic architecture and the cloisters with fan vaulting are regarded as one of the best architectural features.

Since 2000 the cathedral has been used for filming the first two Harry Potter films and the cloisters feature in several scenes including the Troll scene in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in the USA). Pupils from King’s School, next to the cathedral, were used as extras.

For Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the cloisters and surrounding areas were used for filming the Gryffindor house secret entrance. The Chapter House was also used for the dormitory room, Moaning Myrtle, talking paintings, ghost scenes and the red writing on the wall scene were also filmed at the Cathedral.

The Harry Potter Cotswold connection continues as JK Rowling was born in the Cotswold market town of Chipping Sodbury in 1965. Chipping Sodbury lies in southern Gloucestershire 8 miles north west of Bristol and has a long market square, or “Chepynge”, as it was known in medieval times – which then became the name “Chipping”.

As another piece of trivia, Chipping Sodbury is believed to have inspired “Effing Sodbury”, a place name associated with the satirical paper The Framley Examiner.

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