Privet Drive is a suburban street in Little Whinging, which is located in the county of Surrey, near London in the southeast of England. The neighbourhood consists of a number of boring, boxy houses with gardens at the front and back. The Dursleys lived on this street, in Number Four. Neighbours included 3 Privet Drive and 11 Privet Drive. The type of people who live here seem to be rich, snobbish and extremely nosy; Harry Potter once noted that they were the type who thought "scruffiness ought to be punishable by law". The street has its own postal delivery service and at least one (Number Four) gets the Daily Mail newspaper.
Residents of Privet Drive
Harry Potter lived with the Dursleys in number 4 Privet Drive from the age of one to eleven, and every summer when he wasn't at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. When he reached the age of seventeen, he left the house for good. It is unknown if he ever visited after the end of the Second Wizarding War, although he never lived there again.
Dudley Dursley lived on Privet Drive from the time he was born to Vernon and Petunia Dursley, until he and his family parted ways with Harry for the last time and were taken into hiding by Dedalus Diggle and Hestia Jones during the Second Wizarding War. It is likely that he returned to Privet Drive with his parents after the war ended.
Vernon Dursley lived on Privet Drive since before the end of the First Wizarding War. The Dursleys had to move out during the Second Wizarding War, as it was feared they would be targeted by Voldemort and his Death Eaters. It is likely that he moved back to Privet Drive with his family after the end of the war.
Petunia Dursley lived on Privet Drive since before the end of the First Wizarding War. She and her husband had to move out during the Second Wizarding War, as it was feared they would be targeted by Voldemort and his Death Eaters. It is likely that she moved back to Privet Drive with her family after the end of the war.
In Latin, privet means "it deprives us." When pronounced "pree-'vyet," it means "hi" in Russian, although this is probably a coincidence.
According to Pottermore, Rowling chose the word privet from a privet bush, a hedge that isolates suburban houses. She mentions that she liked the link to suburbia and isolation, which connected well with the Dursley's desire to be normal and away from wizards.
Behind the scenes
- In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, every car featured on the street is the same model, the Vauxhall Vectra Estate, which creates an anachronism. This model was made sometime after 1999, which is long after the film was set, in 1991.
- In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Arabella Figg is shown to live in this street, despite canonically she lives on Wisteria Walk.
- For production of the film adaptation of the first book, an actual urban location (Picket Post Close, Winkfield, Bracknell) was chosen to double for Privet Drive. When this proved impractical for further films, a section of Privet Drive was constructed on the back lot at Leavesden Studios. As of August 2011, an aerial view of this set could be viewed via Google Maps.
Things Seen/Observed on Privet Drive
- In Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Mr. Dursley notices a tabby cat which standing on the corner of Privet Drive reading a map on a dull, gray Tuesday. As Mr. Dursley gets into his car and observes from his rearview mirror, he notices that there is a cat, staring at him, but no map. Because of this, he assumes that it is a trick of light. Later on, he also observes the cat reading a sign. However, he later gives himself a little shake, noting that cats cannot read signs; the cat is merely looking at the sign.
- In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Dobby not only Apparated into Privet Drive, he made the Masons aware of his presence by Disapparating loudly and smashing the pudding on the floor. Mrs Mason ran screaming out of the house.
- In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the Knight Bus arrived at Privet Drive (unobserved by Muggles) but presumably some Muggles noticed Ministry Obliviators arriving, unless they erased memories or used Put-Outers.
- In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the Muggle postman dropped by to talk to Uncle Vernon, asking him who had sent Mrs Weasley's letter. This caused quite a scene.
- In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Privet Drive was witness to quite a few magical accidents. First, Mundungus Fletcher Disapparated outside Number 4. This alerted several neighbours, but Vernon explained it as a "car backfiring." Then later, the Dementor attack happened, witnessed by Mrs Figg, who Harry believed to be a Muggle at the time, but she was in fact a Squib.
- In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Arthur Weasley and Kinglsey Shacklebolt arrived at Number 4 during the Summer to tell Uncle Vernon of the new threat to the wizarding world and how Harry's safety was important. This was probably witnessed by several people, but as Arthur and Kinglsey were presumably in Muggle clothes, they would have been unnoticed. However, a massive battle occurred over Privet Drive, then over three counties, and was witnessed by a gigantic amount of Muggles.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game) (Seen in cutscenes only)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game) (Seen in cutscenes only)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
- LEGO Harry Potter: Characters of the Magical World (Mentioned only)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
- Harry Potter LEGO Sets
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Motorbike Escape
- Harry Potter: The Character Vault
- Harry Potter: The Creature Vault (mentioned only)