The Wizarding World of UofG: Harry Potter on campus

The Wizarding World of UofG: Harry Potter on campus

Despite looking the part, Harry Potter was never actually filmed at the University of Glasgow. This does not keep visitors from exclaiming that they feel like they are arriving in Hogwarts when  they first see the Gothic-revival style building with its spires, the twin-quadrangle and the majestic cloisters. In fact, JK Rowling was living in Edinburgh when writing the first chapters of the series in the cosy, buzzing atmosphere of the Elephant House café. However, Hogwarts is rumoured to be located somewhere in Scotland, so let’s keep an open mind about the exact geography and go for a walk across campus to witness some autumnal magic.

 The Gilbert Scott Building.

The Gilbert Scott Building.

“The four houses are called Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin. Each house has its own noble history, and each has produced outstanding witches and wizards. While you are at Hogwarts, your triumphs will earn your house points, while any rule-breaking will lose house points. At the end of the year, the house with the most points is awarded the House Cup, a great honour. I hope each of you will be a credit to whichever house becomes yours.”

- JK Rowling, Harry Potter & the Philosopher’s Stone

 Staircase leading up to seminar and meeting rooms in the main building.

Staircase leading up to seminar and meeting rooms in the main building.

“There were a hundred and forty-two staircases at Hogwarts: wide, sweeping ones; narrow, rickety ones; some that led somewhere different on a Friday; some with a vanishing step halfway up that you had to remember to jump. Then there were doors that wouldn’t open unless you asked politely, or tickled them in exactly the right place, and doors that weren’t really doors at all, but solid walls just pretending.”

- JK Rowling, Harry Potter & the Philosopher’s Stone

 The East Quadrangle.

The East Quadrangle.

“At three-thirty that afternoon, Harry, Ron and the other Gryffindors hurried down the front steps into the grounds for their first flying lesson. It was a clear, breezy day and the grass rippled under their feet as they marched down the sloping lawns towards a smooth lawn on the opposite side of the grounds to the Forbidden Forest, whose trees were swaying darkly in the distance.”

- JK Rowling, Harry Potter & the Philosopher’s Stone

 Side view of the University tower, main building.

Side view of the University tower, main building.

 Hallway in the main building.

Hallway in the main building.

“On Halloween morning they woke to the delicious smell of baking pumpkins wafting through the corridors. Even better, Professor Flitwick announced in Charms that he thought they were ready to start making objects fly, something they had all been dying to try since they’d seen him make Neville’s toad zoom around the classroom.”

- JK Rowling, Harry Potter & the Philosopher’s Stone

 The cloisters.

The cloisters.

 Autumnal fun: stepping into the crunchy leaves covering the lawns adjacent to the main gate.

Autumnal fun: stepping into the crunchy leaves covering the lawns adjacent to the main gate.

“As they entered November, the weather turned very cold. The mountains around the school became icy grey and the lake like chilled steel. Every morning the ground was covered in frost. Hagrid could be seen from the upstairs windows, defrosting broomsticks on the Quidditch pitch, bundled up in a long moleskin overcoat, rabbit-fur gloves and enormous beaver skin boots.”

- JK Rowling, Harry Potter & the Philosopher’s Stone

 Peeking through the main gate from University Avenue.

Peeking through the main gate from University Avenue.

“And suddenly, their wardrobes were empty, their trunks were packed, Neville’s toad was found lurking in a corner of the toilets; notes were handed out to all students, warning them not to use magic over the holidays (‘I always hope they’ll forget to give us these,’ said Fred Weasley sadly); Hagrid was there to take them down to the fleet of boats that sailed across the lake; they were boarding the Hogwarts Express; talking and laughing as the countryside became greener and tidier…”

- JK Rowling, Harry Potter & the Philosopher’s Stone

If you’re now, too, inspired to take a stroll across the campus and the West End, join fellow PGRs for lunchtime walks on Tuesdays at 12.30, at the Gilchrist Cafe. You can stay up to date with the #PGRLunchtimeWalks announcements via Twitter.

Picture credit: Anna Henschel

Meet the Blogger: Danielle

Meet the Blogger: Danielle

First steps to take as a Postgraduate Researcher

First steps to take as a Postgraduate Researcher