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Harry Potter filming locations at Gloucester Cathedral

As a writer, it’s always wonderful to meet fellow Harry Potter fans! The magical world created by J.K. Rowling has captured the hearts of millions around the globe, and it’s no surprise that it continues to inspire and enchant new generations of readers. The first book in the series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone introduced us to the enchanting world of Hogwarts, Diagon Alley, and the spellbinding characters who have become beloved icons of literature.

For many of us, the journey with Harry, Hermione, Ron, and the rest of the magical community began at a young age, and the books have remained a treasured part of our lives ever since. I have been a fan of the series since the first book came out when I was nine.

Gloucester Cathedral holds a special place for many fans of the Harry Potter series as several of the scenes from the films were filmed there. Visitors to the Cathedral can embark on a journey through the very halls that served as backdrops for iconic scenes in the film series. In the cloisters, you can find the locations where key moments from the magical world were brought to life.

History of Gloucester Cathedral

Gloucester Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral Church of St Peter and the Holy and Indivisible Trinity, stands as a testament to medieval architecture and religious heritage.

Gloucester Cathedral has a history spanning back over 1,300 years! In 678 AD the Anglo-Saxon prince Osric founded a religious house here. It was then known as Gloucester Abbey. In the 11th century it it was founded as an abbey dedicated to St. Peter. Over the centuries, the cathedral has undergone various stages of construction and renovation, reflecting the evolving styles of Gothic architecture.

Gloucester Cathedral really has a fascinating history and such incredible architecture that visitors from all over the world absolutely love. It’s not just a place to pray and reflect, it’s also a living reminder of its intriguing medieval roots.

Harry Potter filming locations

When you first arrive at Gloucester Cathedral, you will need to orient yourself. Now, do yourself a favour and enjoy the stunning outer façade of the cathedral before you go inside. As you stand in front of this magnificent architectural masterpiece, take a moment to admire the intricate details of the exterior. Notice the delicate tracery of the windows, the imposing yet graceful towers, and the grandeur of the entrance.

When you first enter the Cathedral, none of the filming locations are located in the main part of the church. You will find them in the cloisters, directly in front of you.

Where to find them:

The Lavatorium: This is where Harry and Ron hide from the troll in the first Harry Potter film, and later in Half-Blood Prince where Harry overhears Snape and Malfoy talking about Snape’s Unbreakable Vow.

Interestingly, the Lavatorium at Gloucester is the oldest remaining Lavatorium in the United Kingdom!

To see where the Lavatorium features in Philosopher’s Stone, the scene starts at 1:09:35 and ends when the troll walks into the girls’ bathroom at 1:09:52.

In Half-Blood Prince, look out for the scene almost halfway through the film at 1:11:54.

The South Side of the Cloisters: This is the hallway where all the newbie Gryffindors walk down when heading to their common room for the first time.

In Harry Potter and Philosopher’s Stone, you can see this part at 48.51.

The East Side of the Cloisters: Although you cannot actually see the famous bathroom at Gloucester Cathedral, you can see the location where they filmed the flood outside of it in the East Cloisters.

In the Chamber of Secrets, the scene starts at around 1:25:54.

North Corridor, East Wall: One of the most iconic scenes in the books, this is where the writing in blood appears in the Chamber of Secrets.

This scene takes place at 43:30 in the Chamber of Secrets.

West End Door: The entrance door to Gryffindor common room in the first film.

In Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, this can be seen at 48.56. 

West Corridor: Where Harry and Ron stand at the beginning of the Half-Blood Prince while students walk by on their way to the first classes of term.

The scene can be found at 32:04 if you are watching the film.

Interesting facts about the filming of the Harry Potter series at Gloucester Cathedral:

  • 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.
  • Whilst filming the scene where the writing in blood appears in the Chamber of Secrets, the wall was covered with protective panelling.  The genuine stony cathedral wall was replicated to emblazon the message. Understandably, the Cathedral wasn’t keen on having a message in red paint written across their wall.

Visiting the Cathedral

  • The cathedral and gift shop are free to enter but there are donation points and visitors are encouraged to give a donation.
  • To look around the filming locations, you do not need to pay anything. They are pretty easy to look around yourself if you know where to go!

Hope you have a fabulous time exploring the Harry Potter filming locations at Gloucester Cathedral.

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