John O'Groats is a village in the Highland council area of Scotland, and part of the county of Caithness.

Bridget Wenlock's cousin lived in John O'Groats. The famous Arithmancer once throught she had mistakenly sent an envelope (on which she thought she had scribbled the theorem that led to her discovery of the magical properties of the number seven in Invisible Ink) to her cousin in John O'Groats — after chasing the owl that brought the letter and after casting a Revealing Charm, Wenlock found out that the envelope contained no more than a cake recipe, and that she had, in fact, scrawled her calculation on a sugar packet that she had left at home.[1]

Behind the scenes

  • The name of the real-world town of John o' Groats is correctly written with a lower case "o", and a space between "o'" and "Groats", as the "o'" means "of" and thus is not cognate with Irish names that begin with O', even though that usage also denoted "of". Wonderbook: Book of Spells gives its spelling as "John O'Groats", which is regarded by some to be incorrectly spelt.
  • The town takes its name from Jan de Groote, a Dutchman who obtained a grant for the ferry from the Scottish mainland to Orkney from James IV, King of Scots, in 1496. Bridget Wenlock lived between 1202 and 1286, however, and the town should not be thus named in the 13th century.


Notes and references