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Gloucestershire: Harry Potter's county
There are legions of young Potter fans
Last updated: 13 September 2005 1455 BST
lineYoung wizard Harry Potter has recently returned to the screen in The Prizoner of Azkaban. But did you know about his many links with the county of Gloucestershire?

Listen to the King's School pupils talking about starring with Harry Potter



County schoolgirl Miranda talks about her magical trip to Hogwarts


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See Also

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We put YOU in the picture at Hogwart's!

The Harry Potter tour - PHOTO GALLERY

Gloucester's Harry Potter trail in detail

Miranda wins a trip to Hogwart's

Wizard fun in store for book launch

The kids who starred with Harry Potter

Gloucester Cathedral

The Harry Potter phenomenon


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Gloucestershire has perhaps got the closest links of any county with the Harry Potter phenomenon.

The author JK Rowling was born in the county in 1965 and christened Joanna Kathleen. She attended primary school at Tutshill and Wyedean Comprehensive School, both in the Forest of Dean.

She always wanted to be an author and wrote her first book, called Rabbit, with a cast of characters including a bumble bee called Miss Bee, when she was just six years old.

Harry Potter author JK Rowling
JK Rowling was born and went to school in Gloucestershire

Her family moved twice while JK Rowling was growing up and at one home in Winterbourne, now in South Gloucestershire, she had friends next door whose last name was Potter.

And you don't have to look far to see where she found Harry's horrible adoptive family - they share a name with the Gloucestershire town of Dursley.

But the county's Harry Potter connections don't end with JK Rowling.

Historic Gloucester Cathedral has made its mark on the modern tourist map with a starring role in the Harry Potter films.

Movie magic transformed the cathedral's famous fan-vaulted cloisters into the interior of Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the films Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

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The Gloucester's Harry Potter connection has worked miracles on Gloucestershire's tourism industry, which was hit hard by the drop in American holidaymakers visiting the UK in the wake of the September 11 attacks on New York in 2001.

Gloucester Cathedral Cloisters
Gloucester Cathedral's cloisters become Hogwart's in the Harry potter films

Since the British Tourist Authority published a map showing UK film locations in the Harry Potter movies the number of people visiting the tourist information centre in Gloucester increased by a quarter to 34,000 in the first five months of 2003.

The head of tourism for Gloucestershire county council Chris Dee said there were encouraging signs that Americans visitors are returning.

Stroud-based company Snow Business has created artificial snow scenes in the Harry Potter films as well as in the James Bond blockbuster Die Another Day and Bridget Jones' Diary.


Would-be wizards can find many of the magical herbs used in spells at Hogwart's growing at the Selsley Herb Nursery near Stroud, including mandrakes, monkshood, wolfbane, wormwood knotgrass, fluxweed, dittany and belladonna.

Daniel radcliffe as Harry Potter
Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe filmed at Gloucester Cathedral

Nursery owner Rob Wimperis says: "I think a lot of children don't actually realise how many plants mentioned in the Harry Potter books are real herbs and do have a powerful and dramatic effect on people.

"Sadly, here at the nursery, we've not been able to track down some of the more outrageous plants from the wizarding world.

"Shrivelfigs, bubotubours, devil's snare, gillyweed, leaping toadstools and the venomous tentecula have all defeated us!"

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See also:
Gardening tips with Reg
Motoring with Zog Ziegler

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