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Queerditch Marsh was a marsh located somewhere in Great Britain. It was famous as the site at which the sport that eventually evolved into Quidditch was first played.[1]

In the 11th century, Gertie Keddle, a witch who lived near the marsh, recorded in her diary about how local witches and wizards had been playing a new broomstick-mounted game. As described in her diary, the game featured a leather ball (an early Quaffle), flying rocks (early Bludgers), and the idea of passing the leather ball to each other, then trying to score points by throwing the ball into the trees at the end of the marsh (early forms of goal posts).

Behind the scenes

  • Queerditch is a near homophone with the word Quidditch. The earliest canonical reference to the name of the game is under the spelling Kwidditch in a letter from the 12th century. It is unknown whether the inhabitants of Queerditch Marsh adapted Kwidditch from Queerditch, or if in the eleventh century the place had a different name, like "Kweerditch Marsh". Words and names often had multiple accepted spellings before the standardisation of English spelling in the 16th and 17th centuries.
  • In 2017, in response to a tweet from the QI Elves saying that "Quidditch, digestive biscuits and overdrafts were all invented in Edinburgh", J. K. Rowling remarked that Quidditch was in actuality invented in Manchester.[2] This is not a reference to the location of Queerditch Marsh, however, but the actual place in which Rowling came up with the idea of Quidditch — in a hand-signed, annotated first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone that was auctioned for charity in 2013, Rowling remarked that she had invented Quidditch while staying in a small hotel in Manchester after a row with her then-boyfriend, adding rules that she was sure would infuriate men, which she found satisfying given her state of mind at the time.[3]
  • In the real world, "quidditch" is a dialect English word for a type of ditch, and came from Anglo-Saxon "cwǣð-dīc", meaning "mud-ditch".
  • In Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup, the four Hogwarts Houses can play matches against one another at Queerditch Marsh.

Appearances

Notes and references