|The first page of the first book. |
Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone
And so it began. I've said before that words can hold hidden power to touch us in so many ways. Often it happens suddenly but sometimes the magic is so strong that the spell continues to work forever and we may only realise just how spellbound that we are until later,much later. A seemingly very ordinary person or place can become etched upon our minds and hearts because of a wonderfully written book or a film.
|J.K. Rowling signed, 'the book that changed my life.' |
Many could have signed underneath, 'Me Too!'
In the case of Harry Potter our lives have been graced by both.
|Rubeus Hagrid delivers baby Harry to 4 Privet Drive|
The current owners have put the house on the market. Though this little house was not the favourite abode of choice of Harry who much preferred Hogwarts, you can imagine the excitement of the children who knew that Harry had been there.
|The real perfectly ordinary house in a perfectly ordinary road.|
|The film set created at Warners Bros Studio, Leavesden|
for the subsequent films
The house in the book and film is at Number 4 Privet Drive, in Little Whingeing, Surrey. This was a clever touch from J.K. Rowling as 'privet' has a wholesome image due to the many lovely English country cottages tucked behind privet hedges, and the quiet well behaved suburban streets, such as those written about by John Betjeman, where the neighbourhoods are kept tidy by well tended privet hedges. And Little Whingeing? Well, you know how snooty folk can be keeping up with the neighbourhood.
|A vintage poster extolling the virtue of suburbia.|
|Professor Minerva McGonagall as a cat in Privet Drive|
|The quiet cul-de-sac where 4 Privet Drive resided|
|The sitting/Dining Room, Kitchen & small garden|
|The main bedroom and the two single bedrooms|
|The Dursley's purple chintz bedroom in the films|
|Harry in his under the stairs bedroom, from Vanity Fair 2001|
Homes and Property in their article, say this about the house: full article here:
"The property in Picket Post Close near Reading, known as 4 Privet Drive in the film, was selected out of hundreds of houses around the UK to become the home of Harry's Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia and cousin Dudley Dursley.
The three-bedroom house in Martins Heron, Bracknell, was cast as the "perfectly ordinary house on a perfectly ordinary street" for the 2001 film, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. The property’s then owner Sandra Smith was approached by filmmakers who spotted the house and thought it closely resembled the Thirties home in Little Whinging, Surrey described by JK Rowling. Filming took place at the location over two weeks as the property was transformed into the home of the Dursley family.
The Boy Who Lived famously did so in the cupboard-under-the-stairs - during his early years, at least.
Harry's aunt Petunia and uncle Vernon reserved two of four bedrooms in Privet Drive for their odious son Dudley, one for themselves and another for guests. While Harry kept the spiders and the vacuum cleaner company in the cupboard at night. In Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone the orphan wizard is quickly moved into “Dudley’s second bedroom” by his rattled relatives after he starts receiving letters addressed to “Harry Potter, The Cupboard Under the Stairs.”
|Harry's mail takes over the sitting room|
You can read an interview with the current owner Claire Powder who is blissfully unaware of the owner of Potter having never read the books or seen any but the first film which included their home. Here:
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There has been a lot of interest in the house. I had to smile when I read the usual warning that, "viewings are strictly by appointment only". Better to be safe than sorry, Dementors might turn up uninvited like they have before.
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This is a perfect excuse to remember some of the moments of 4 Privet Drive, from the first film when the real house was used, and later after the stage set had been built for the films that followed.
|The owls are not what they seem ....|
|Proud and snobby Dursleys at home|
|Harry and his Uncle|
|Harry's under stairs cupboard bedroom|
|The Order of the Phoenix|
|Dobby visits Harry in his bedroom at Privet Drive|
|The Dursleys leaving 4 Privet Drive|
|Harry says goodbye to Hedwig|
|The Deathly Hallows, The final battle nears, |
friends meet at 4 Privet Drive
|Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1|
Harry and Hagrid leave Privet Drive for the last time
Well, the books, of course!
But you could start here for more information: Harry Potter Wiki for 4 Privet Drive
Or here, at Pottermore