historic cathedral cloisters were
transformed into the corridors of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft
and Wizardry in the films of JK Rowlings first two books
Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone and Harry Potter and
the Chamber of Secrets.
was the strictest of security to keep out the curious worlds
press while filming took place but now some of the movie-makers
secrets can be revealed.
Gloucestershire went Pottering in the cathedral with
the Harry Potter trail guide and found that while Harry,
Hagrid, Hermione and Ron may have moved on, there are still glimpses
of Hogwarts magic if you know just where to look . . .
there be (hidden) lights
the hidden electrics
modern signs, locks and electrics had to be disguised under panels
painted to look like the stone walls. Can you spot the cunningly
concealed electric light switches inside the East Cloister door?
Potter and the Hidden Haloes
the films anything that would give away the set as a church had
to disappear. The haloes on the stained glass figures in the cloister
windows were painstakingly covered with coloured plastic filter
paper to blend in with the surrounding glass.
window has figures of Adam and Eve, and because these might have
been in shot in the movies, they were given clothes and even the
trademark Harry Potter 'lightning flash' on their foreheads!
Potter and the Buried Tombs
figures of Adam and Eve were 'dressed' and given forehead marks
are nearly 100 tombstones on the cloister floors which had to be
disguised during filming.
were covered with roofing felt, which was then painted, marked,
polished, varnished and made to look faded to match the rest of
the stone-flagged floor.
Wizardry in Dark Entry
red door in Dark Entry, at the north-eastern corner of the cloisters,
was where the flood from the girls toilets was filmed.
Dark Entry doorway
from a tanker parked in the road outside was pumped through the
doorway, into a huge specially constructed container and out to
a drain in the Garth (the cloisters central garden).
carefully at the floor and you can still see the marks of adhesive
tape that held the container in place.
wall by Dark Entry is where panelling, made in the studio to look
just like the stone walling, was hung with the chilling message
in blood really a film-makers magic potion
that read: The Chamber of Secrets has been opened
enemies of the heir BEWARE!
Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone, Rik Mayall, as playful
poltergiest Peeves, set all the broomsticks zooming about in the
East Cloister walk.
the scene was one of several that ended up on the cutting room floor
because the film had to be cut to a manageable length.
Terror in the Lavatorium
and Ron hid in the Lavatorium
Lavatorium on the left hand side of the North walk (yes, its
really called that and it wasnt the ancient Abbey monks
loo but the place they washed) is where Harry and Ron hide from
a giant troll behind the pillars.
troll in the film is mainly computer-generated, but huge legs were
used in filming to make it look more realistic so big that
there was some difficulty in getting them in through the cathedrals
massive main doors!
filming the cloister walks were lit by special
gas-fired torches using a special gas that would not harm the ancient
you come to the end of the West Walk the
oddly-named West Slype door is on your right. A slype is the name
for a covered passage from a church or monastery cloister.
West Slype doorway
the films it was made to look smaller by means of a plastic mould
placed over the
real doorway, with a hinged portrait of the Fat Lady in front of
it, and became the entrance to the Gryffindor Common Room.
real life steps lead down from the other side of the doorway but
more film wizardry was used to make it look like the common room.
false floor on stilts was built sloping slightly
upwards to a backlit screen with a picture of the common room
a film-making device called a translight.
on the links below to take our virtual Harry Potter tour and see
even more of Gloucester's Hogwart's!
out more about Gloucester
Cathedral and the
kids who starred with Harry Potter. Also see our dramatic
panoramic pictures of the cathedral's magnificent interior.
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