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Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry?

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

“It looks just like Hogwarts!”

I once heard a rumour that the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, of Harry Potter fame, was based on the Main Building of the University of Glasgow. Furthermore, another rumour claimed that when the first Harry Potter movie was to be filmed, the producers wanted to film many of the Hogwarts scenes at the University of Glasgow, but the University turned them down for some reason.

Whether or not either one of the rumours is true, I can’t base either on any solid information. Instead, I offer my personal speculations on the matter:

  • In the stories, Hogwarts is located somewhere in Scotland.
  • J K Rowling lived in Edinburgh at the time of writing, so it has been suggested that her inspirations for Hogwarts would have included the Edinburgh Castle and the University of Edinburgh.
  • Edinburgh Castle has no Hogwartsy spires.
  • The University of Edinburgh has no Hogwartsy spires.
  • Christ Church College in Oxford, where much of the movie version of Hogwarts was filmed, has no Hogwartsy spires.
  • The Main Building of Glasgow University has many Hogwartsy spires.
  • J K Rowling is said to have based Diagon Alley on Ashton Lane, which is located right next to Glasgow University in the West End.
  • Neil Murray, J K Rowling’s husband, graduated from the medical school at Glasgow University in 1994.

If anyone actually knows what the actual inspiration for Hogwarts was, do tell. In the mean time the students of Glasgow University will have to settle for not seeing wizards and owls or a game of quidditch at their very own Hogwarts.

[Poll #2: What is your connection to Glasgow University?]
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7 responses

  1. Nora

    There is also the hospital in the Harry Potter books called “St Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries”.

    St Mungo… Glasgow.

    July 20, 2010 at 11:20 pm

  2. Some interesting facts! I wish it were true that JK Rowling had based at least part of Hogwarts on Glasgow University.

    January 18, 2011 at 4:34 pm

  3. hope

    We always called it Hogwarts when I was a student.

    January 18, 2011 at 5:08 pm

  4. Pingback: What to do in Glasgow: museums and sights. | Evelyn in Glasgow

  5. je vue savoir lenimero de cete univerite

    July 28, 2012 at 3:34 am

  6. It is said that the inspiration comes from George Heriot’s School in Edinburgh. You combine it with the Edinburgh Castle to get Hogwarts. Rowling could see Heriot’s from her window at the White Elephant while she wrote the first two books.

    June 26, 2013 at 12:39 am

  7. johnjogss

    It’s a combination of Heriot’s in Edinburgh which is where her daughter went to school, the castle and Glasgow Uni, although parts of it were filmed up in Glenalmond College.

    December 11, 2013 at 7:19 pm

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