Journey Beyond the Screen

Gloucester Cathedral

England: Harry PotterGloucester Cathedral: Beware of the Ghosts

Location

The history of the cathedral goes all the way back to 678-9 AD, when the Anglo-Saxon prince Osric founded a religious house on this very site.

Highlights of the cathedral include the intricate fan vaulting of the cloister, the tomb of King Edward II and the Great East Window, a stained glass window the size of a tennis court. 

For a view of the cathedral, climb up to The Tribune Gallery, which also gets you close to the Great East Window. Adjacent is the Whispering Gallery, a favourite with the kids. The clever construction of the space lets you whisper to another, standing on opposite sides of the gallery.

The on-site café serves light lunches and their renowned Pilgrim's Pie - with hogget lamb, honey roasted carrots and white beans, is served with a side of pear chutney and a choice of two salads.

Guided tours take in the crypt, the library and the 269 step-climb up the tower.

The cathedral's tower is accessible by guided tours

The cathedral's tower is accessible by guided tours

Key Scenes

The filmmakers deemed the cloister a perfect location to represent Hogwarts, which is why it appears repeatedly in three of the movies.

In Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Hermione gets trapped in the girls' toilet by a troll gone berserk. The troll then leaves and walks along the north side of the cloister, while Harry and Ron hide in the Lavatorium just around the corner. The south side of the cathedral features as a corridor in the Gryffindor wing, with the door at the end of the hallway being the entrance to the Common Room. The same setting can be seen in the scene, where the lady in the oil painting asks for the password.

The cloister's wings stood in as the corridors at Hogwarts in three of the Harry Potter movies

The cloister's wings stood in as the corridors at Hogwarts in three of the Harry Potter movies

The east wall at the end of the northern walk is where the words "The chamber of secrets has been opened" appear in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Nearby are the toilets which get flooded by Moaning Myrtle.

Parts of the cloister were also used for some scenes in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, in particular when Harry hides in the Lavatorium and listens to Severus Snape's confession that he has taken the unbreakable vow.

While these are some of the more iconic scenes, there are plenty more opportunities to discover more about the filming on site.  The Cathedral's website specifically states, that their guides are happy to share some great stories around the shooting of the Harry Potter movies.

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