J.K. Rowling Secretly Bought Her Childhood Home, Which Inspired Scenes in ‘Harry Potter’ Series
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Let’s be real, we all have a special place in our heart for the home (or homes) we grew up in. Cue the memory reel of where you learned to ride your first bike or the door frame where your parents tracked your siblings and your heights. But would that nostalgia be enough for you to drop half a million to buy back the house? If you’re author J.K. Rowling, and your childhood home inspired certain parts of what would become one of the most well-known fiction series to ever exist, it’s worth considering.
As it turns out, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling owns her childhood home, Church Cottage at Tutshill in Chepstow, according to the The Daily Mail. Rowling had quietly swooped up the gothic-style cottage when it went on the market back in 2011 for £400,000 ($499,554.00 USD). Now, the secret is out, as this week, Rowling and her husband commissioned major renovation projects for it, after years of no activity. The district council has granted the couple planning permission to install two rear dormer windows and knock down and rebuild the garage.
But let’s talk about that magic that is Church Cottage already. Rowling lived here from ages nine to 18, marking her territory by scrawling “Joanne Rowling slept here, circa 1982” on the wall when she was 17, reports The Daily Mail (they even have a photo!). The home includes a cupboard under the stairs (sound familiar?!), which is believed to have been the inspiration for Harry’s room at the Dursley family’s house. There is also a trap door in the cottage’s dining room, similar to the one Fluffy guards in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Also, the property is near the Forest of Dean, where a chunk of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows takes place. Rowling also got the name for the Quidditch team Tutshill Tornados from the name of the house’s street, according to Insider.
Over the years, some wise fans were able to connect the dots leading to the home, often trying to visit it. “For years, every time a book or a film came out, there were always members of the public asking to come in to see the house,” Julian Mercer, the home’s former owner, told BBC back in 2011. “That’s been happening ever since the book came out. But we haven’t let them in.”
Now that the secret’s out that the home is back in Rowling’s hands, those uninvited fans might be knocking on the door a little more frequently. Although her exact renovation plans may still be a mystery, we sure hope she turns it into a museum for the book, or at least (please!) gives us a home tour.