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.
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.
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 Dumbledore family, the Peverell family, the Potter family, 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.
The large number of wizarding residents has caused the West Country to be 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 or Ireland.
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.
- J. K. Rowling lived in the West Country as a child and teenager, in the towns of Winterbourne and Tutshill.
- 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)