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The West Country is a region of south-western England, typically defined as including the counties of Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, and Somerset, although Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Herefordshire are often included.
This region of England also plays home to many wizarding families, including the Weasleys, Lovegoods, Diggories, Scamanders, and once the Potters. This area is also the birthplace of Godric Gryffindor, a founder of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
The West Country appears to have a particularly heavy concentration of wizarding families, perhaps because it is considered a remote area of the United Kingdom by Muggle standards, allowing for easier adherence to the Statute of Secrecy.
The village of Tinworth is located somewhere along the coast of Cornwall. A number of wizarding families live there, including Bill and Fleur Weasley, who reside in a house called Shell Cottage on the outskirts of town. The village of Ottery St Catchpole is located in Devon. It is home to several wizarding families, including the Diggories, Fawcetts, Lovegoods, and Weasleys.
Rubeus Hagrid was born in Gloucestershire (one of the counties that make up the West Country) near the Forest of Dean. After his expulsion from Hogwarts, Hagrid became gamekeeper at the school and moved into a hut on its grounds.
Godric's Hollow with its large wizarding population is in the West Country, meaning the area was home to the Dumbledores, Peverells, Potters, Bathilda Bagshot, and many others. It is also the birthplace of Godric Gryffindor. As the Sorting Hat once stated that Godric Gryffindor was from wild moor, Godric's Hollow is likely to be located in either Devon or Cornwall.
On his Chocolate Frog Card, Nicolas Flamel and his wife Perenelle are said to be enjoying a quiet life in Devon, in the West Country. In the mid-nineties, Magizoologist Newt Scamander and his wife, Porpentina retired to Dorset, also in the West Country. The hiding place where Albus Dumbledore and Harry Potter find Horace Slughorn, a village called Budleigh Babberton, is in the West Country as well.
The large number of wizarding residents may be the reason why the West Country is home to most of England's Quidditch teams; its wizarding population is large enough to require professional Quidditch pitches at both Bodmin Moor and Exmoor. The Falmouth Falcons, Chudley Cannons, Wimbourne Wasps, Puddlemere United, and Tutshill Tornados are West Country Quidditch teams — the only English Quidditch team not located in the West Country is the Appleby Arrows. All other British teams are in Scotland, Ireland, or Wales.
The most famous episode in the life of Sir Cadogan — a friend of Merlin, wizard member of King Arthur's Round Table, and current resident of a Hogwarts painting — took place in the West Country during the Dark Ages. Sir Cadogan fought and barely defeated the Wyvern of Wye, leading to a West Country proverb still popular among elderly wizards, "I'll take Cadogan's pony," which means, "I'll salvage the best I can from a tricky situation."
In 1996, Death Eaters, with the help of one or more giants, devastated a wide area of the West Country, uprooting trees, tearing off roofs, and seriously injuring people. Initially, the Muggle Prime Minister attributed this damage to a hurricane, but he was later told its true cause during a meeting with recently ousted Minister for Magic, Cornelius Fudge. In the aftermath of the disaster, the Ministry of Magic tried to bring the situation under control by having Obliviators modify the memories of Muggle eyewitnesses, The Office of Misinformation circulate cover stories (presumably to the Muggle media), and members of the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures search Somerset for the giant.
In December 1997, during their hunt for Lord Voldemort's Horcruxes, Harry Potter and Hermione Granger camped in the Forest of Dean. Severus Snape anonymously delivered Godric Gryffindor's Sword to Harry by placing it in a frozen lake in the forest and then using his Patronus to guide Harry to it. Ron Weasley, who had previously left Harry and Hermione, returned to them in the forest by way of his Deluminator. He pulled Harry from the lake, and then used the sword to destroy a Horcrux, Salazar Slytherin's Locket.
Behind the scenes
- J. K. Rowling based the character of Rubeus Hagrid on a Hell's Angel that she knew from this area.<ref name="pts29">Harry Potter Page to Screen: The Complete Filmmaking Journey, Page 29</ref>
- J. K. Rowling lived in the West Country as a child and teenager, in the towns of Winterbourne and Tutshill.
- Interestingly, in the movie adaptations, none of the scenes set in the West Country was actually filmed in West Country locations. The Shell Cottage scenes were filmed in Pembrokeshire, Wales; the Budleigh Babberton scenes were filmed in Lacock, Wiltshire; the Godric's Hollow scenes were filmed in Lavenham, Suffolk; and all scenes around Ottery St Catchpole and The Burrow were filmed either in Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire, or in Leavesden Studios outside London.
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (video game)
Notes and references
- ↑ "West Country" on Wikipedia
- ↑ 1999 Scotland on Sunday article
- ↑ 1999 WBUR interview
- ↑ 2000 Blue Peter interview
- ↑ 2005 BBC Radio 4 interview
- ↑ Pottermore, Book 3, Chapter 6, Moment 1
- ↑ Half-Blood Prince, Ch. 1
- ↑ "" IMDB for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1
- ↑ "" IMDB for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- ↑ "" IMDB for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1
- ↑ "" see Harry Potter Wiki entry for The Burrow
- ↑ PS1 version.