Just outside of Bath is a small village called Lacock. You’ve probably never heard of it, but there are in fact many Harry Potter filming locations in this tiny British village.
Lacock is one of the oldest villages in England and almost entirely owned by the National Trust. This medieval village hasn’t changed much in hundreds of years and it’s as if time stands still here. You won’t find telephone cables hanging between the houses or anything else that indicates this is the 21st century.
It should come as no surprise then, that many period dramas, such as Downton Abbey, Pride and Prejudice and Cranford have used Lacock as a filming location.
But let’s get back to Harry Potter. Which Harry Potter scenes were filmed in Lacock?
Various places in Lacock were used in Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, and, more recently, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.
The most notable is Lacock Abbey which served as the interior for Hogwarts School but there are a few others dotted around too.
Let me take you on a quick Harry Potter tour around Lacock! You’ll find a useful map of all the places mentioned below at the end.
Harry Potter’s Parents’ House
Harry Potter’s parents’ house can be found in Lacock and is a perfectly ordinary family home. This house is used in the first Harry Potter film, the Philosopher’s Stone, and we see it in the early moments of the film when Hagrid explains to Harry what happened to his parents.
The pair are sat in the Leaky Cauldron and we see a flashback to the night Voldemort murdered Harry’s parents. Voldemort is seen walking down an alley covered in leaves and he approaches a gate. That very gate is still outside this house today!
He enters the property and walks up to the house where he uses his wand to open the door. He goes up the stairs and kills Lily Potter, leaving baby Harry behind.
The house looks a little different today as the door is painted a different colour and the bushes have grown a lot higher. However if you compare pictures of the house with this scene with Voldemort, it’s clear it is the same property. I imagine the tall bushes may be to keep all prying Harry Potter fans and tourists away!
You will find the house at the end of Church Street, past St Cyriac’s Church. See my map at the end of this post for help.
Lacock Abbey is the most iconic Harry Potter filming location in Lacock and the interiors were used as the interiors of Hogwarts School for a significant number of scenes in the first two Harry Potter films. More recently, it has also been used in the Fantastic Beasts film: The Crimes of Grindelwald.
Check out: Harry Potter filming locations in Oxford
In the Philosopher’s Stone, Harry exits the restricted section under his invisibility cloak and comes across Snape and Quirrel. It appears that Snape is threatening Quirrel but what about we are not sure. These corridors are the cloisters in Lacock Abbey.
You don’t want me as your enemey, Quirrel.
The same cloisters are used again in The Chamber of Secrets in many scenes where Harry hears the basilisk moving through the pipes. When Harry leaves detention with Professor Lockhart he hears the sounds of the basilisk moving and cries: “I think it’s going to kill!”
Harry, Ron and Hermione race down the corridor to find a spooky message on the wall. By the time they round the corner and see the spiders, the filming location has changed but they started in Lacock Abbey’s cloisters.
The Chamber of Secrets has been opened. Enemies of the heir… beware
Apart from the cloisters, numerous rooms at Lacock Abbey were also used in the filming of Harry Potter. These rooms were used as Snape and Quirrel’s classrooms in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
These large rooms stand empty now but you are free to wander around inside them. It’s easy to imagine a class at Hogwarts taking place here but you may remember some of these exact scenes filmed in these rooms.
I’m sure you all remember Harry’s first Potions class. How could you forget your first real encounter with the terrifying Professor Snape?
He bursts into the room telling his new students “there will be no foolish wand waving or silly incantations in this class”. When he turns and the camera moves to the back of the classroom, you can see the arches and large windows of The Sacristy room in Lacock Abbey.
I can teach you how to bewitch the mind and ensnare the senses. I can tell you how to bottle fame, brew glory, and even put a stopper in death.Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
Later, The Warming Room at Lacock Abbey appears as Quirrel’s classroom. This time there are all sorts of papers and plants hanging from the ceiling and Professor Quirrel himself is found holding an iguana. This scene takes place just after Harry’s first quidditch lesson when McGonagall takes Harry to meet Oliver Wood.
You’ll notice that next to Professor Quirrel (and his iguana) is a giant cauldron. This cauldron is still here today and actually belongs to the Abbey – it is not a prop for the Harry Potter films. The Mechlin Pot dates back to the 1500s and it thought to have been used for cooking.
Mirror of Erised Scenes
The Chapter House at Lacock Abbey was used in the moving Mirror of Erised scenes in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Harry enters, pulling off his invisibility cloak, and you can see he is in a huge room with a vaulted ceiling and lots of supporting columns. He then looks into the mirror and sees his parents for the first time.
The Chapter House is used again in The Chamber of Secrets as the revision room. Harry is studying in here but all the other students are whispering about him since this scene follows that in which he speaks Parseltongue in front of all his classmates.
Budleigh what now? Budleigh Babberton is where Horace Slughorn hides from the Death Eaters. In Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, this is where Dumbledore and Harry head to convince him to take up the post of Potions teacher.
Dumbledore arrives to pick up Harry from the muggle train station Surbiton just as he’s about to go on a date with a waitress and whisks him off to Budleigh Babberton. This is the first time Harry has ever apparated!
As soon as they arrive, you can see Lacock in the background. This is the end of Church Street. The distinctive timber framed houses seen were typical in the Middle Ages and this medieval architecture has been very well preserved in Lacock.
Unfortunately the monument seen when they arrive and leave Budleigh Babberton is not a real monument and was constructed for filming.
They then make their way to Slughorn’s hideaway (more info below). Having successfully recruited Horace Slughorn, Dumbledore and Harry walk back towards the fictional monument, past the Babberton Arms, which in real life is the 15th century inn, Sign of the Angel.
Horace Slughorn’s House
Dumbledore and Harry then walk up to Slughorn’s temporary abode, which is a large property on Cantax Hill. Helpfully, you’ll find it marked on Google maps as “Horace Slughorn’s Hideaway”.
You’ll be able to recognise the house from the distinctive stonework and towering bushes outside. You see the house very briefly before the pair head inside but it’s clear it’s the same red brick house.
The house is briefly seen again as Harry and Dumbledore exit the house. Slughorn soon comes running after them saying “Alright, I’ll do it!”, accepting the role of Potions professor.
So there you have my guide to Harry Potter in Lacock. It’s surprising just how many memorable Harry Potter scenes were filmed in this very small and relatively unknown British village, but from one look at the medieval architecture and impressive Abbey, it’s clear why they chose it.
Before you leave the lovely village of Lacock, make sure to check out Watlings Gift Shop to buy all your Harry Potter related souvenirs!
With certain scenes from the latest Fantastic Beasts movie filmed here too, it seems likely they may be back to Lacock to film even more magical scenes!
Visiting Lacock and Lacock Abbey
How to get to Lacock
Lacock, near Chippenham, Wiltshire, SN15 2LG
Lacock is a small village in Wiltshire, just a little outside of Bath. It’s very easy to get to as a day trip from London.
If you’re able to drive, then it’s around 2 hours from London and you will take M4 exit 17. You will need to pay for parking in the village.
Alternatively you can take the train from Paddington to Chippenham and then take the X34 Frome bus.
Lacock Abbey Opening Hours
11am – 4pm most days.
Double check the opening hours on the day you wish to visit because the Abbey rooms are often closed. You can find all this info here.
It is free to roam around the village but you will need to pay to enter Lacock Abbey. Tickets cost £11 for adults and £5.50 for children. Find out more here.
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A Guide to the Harry Potter Studio Tour London
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