Ottery St Catchpole is a small town located in Devon, England. It was presumably named after a Saint Catchpole.

The village has both a Muggle and a magical community, the latter quietly established after the passing of the Statute of Secrecy in the seventeenth century.[1] Wizarding families that live in or near Ottery St Catchpole include the Weasleys who live just outside in The Burrow, the Fawcetts, the Diggorys, and the Lovegoods.[2]

Known locations

The Burrow

The Burrow 02

The Burrow

The Burrow is the home of the Weasley family, located in the south of the village and hidden behind hills and trees. On the other side of the village from the Burrow is a fairly large hill called Stoatshead Hill. This was also Harry Potter's temporary home.[2]

Small Cottage

A small cottage sorrounded by a cluster of low hills was located a few hours of walking distance from the Weasley home, described as having a a neat little kitchen with geraniums on the windowsill, although it seemed to be deserted by the time the Trio walked past it, suggesting that the residents either had gone into hiding or went missing as a result to the war. This might be the family home of either the Diggory family or the Fawcett family.

The Lovegood House

640px-Lovegood house concept artwork

Lovegood House

The Lovegood family resides in a house shaped like a rook not too far from the Burrow, it is hidden amongst the hills and surrounded by gardens.[1]

Paper shop

There is a paper shop in the Muggle part of the village where a very pretty girl works as a shopgirl, who Fred and George have a liking for.[3]

Stoatshead Hill

Stoatshead Hill was a steep hill located outside the village of this town. One of two hundred sites throughout Britain selected to house Portkeys to the Quidditch World Cup in 1994. There were large tufts of grass and holes build by rabbits that people could fall in.

Known residents

Stoatshead Hill

Stoatshead Hill


The name is most likely a reference to the real Devon town of Ottery St Mary. Ottery St Mary is near Exeter, the city where Rowling went to university, so it is plausible that she visited it, or at least had heard of it. There are also several locations near Ottery St Mary that include "Burrow" in their names, possibly making them namesakes for the Weasleys home. The word Ottery means "on the river Otter." Catchpole gives an impression of a Quidditch goal post or, perhaps, a fishing rod.  However, Merriam-Webster defines "catchpole" as a Middle English term for a sheriff's deputy, usually assigned to collect a debt.  Possibly a humorous reference to the impoverished Weasleys.

Behind the scenes

  • In the video game series for the sixth film, the areas of Ottery St Catchpole leading up to the Lovegoods were full of Whomping Willows, and in early 1998 infested by Inferi summoned there by Death Eaters on Voldemort's orders.[4] As this is a task in the game, it cannot be considered canon.


Notes and references