JK Rowling reveals Harry Potter's true birthplace: Clapham Junction

May 22, 2020

JK Rowling has revealed that Harry Potter's true birthplace is south west London, and not Edinburgh as widely believed.

The author shared the news on her official Twitter account, in a bid to dispel common myths around the writing locations of her most famous creation.

Rowling shared a photo of Flight Centre at 94 St John's Road in Clapham Junction with her 14.6m followers.

She wrote: "This is the true birthplace of Harry Potter, if you define 'birthplace' as the spot where I put pen to paper for the first time.* I was renting a room in a flat over what was then a sports shop. The first bricks of Hogwarts were laid in a flat in Clapham Junction."

She then expanded the possibility, throwing another location into the mix.

"* If you define the birthplace of Harry Potter as the moment when I had the initial idea, then it was a Manchester-London train. But I'm perennially amused by the idea that Hogwarts was directly inspired by beautiful places I saw or visited, because it's so far from the truth."

In a long thread, Rowling then delighted fans by sharing pictures of the various buildings in which she penned different bits of her series of seven wizarding books.

She said she invented the fictional sport of Quidditch in the former Bourneville Hotel in Manchester.

A cafe in Edinburgh called Nicholsons was a spot in which she wrote many chapters, but it has since become a Chinese restaurant.

She also shared a sparkling picture of what she said "was probably the most beautiful cafe I ever wrote in, actually. The Majestic Cafe on Rua Santa Catarina."

And Rowling added: "I wrote the bit where Harry buys his wand sitting under a tree, appropriately enough."

But she said Hogwarts is "100 percent" not based "on one or other of Edinburgh's schools", and Diagon Alley is not based on Gandy Street in Exeter or the Shambles in York.

Rowling rounded off the thread by saying her favourite bit of "utter nonsense about Potter landmarks" is a parking meter in Edinburgh hailed as the one she used while writing the Deathly Hallows.

Rowling does not drive.

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The author went on to say there are so many "alleged inspirations" around her writing locations, she is thinking of putting a section on her Pottermore website to clarify the true birthplaces of Potter once and for all.

In other Potter news, a first edition of Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone recently sold for £33,000 after being rescued from a skip.

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