Is the Hogwarts set a real castle?

The scenes in the Harry Potter movies that take place on the Hogwarts grounds look very much like the inside of a real British castle – but the exterior shot looks nothing like any British castle I’ve ever seen, and I think I’ve at least seen pictures of nearly all of them. Does anybody know where they shot the school scenes?

The IMDB listing for Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone lists a variety of locations. The external shots were apparently filmed at: Gloucester Cathedral, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England, UK.

On the other hand: The second movie ends with the view of the Great Hall, with the camera panning back and out through a window, which remains intact. You can’t do that with a brick and mortar castle. And considering how easy it is to computer-generate inanimate objects nowadays, it’s almost certain that it was all digital.

Many of the locations in the Harry Potter films are, indeed, real places. Hogwarts, as it appears on film, though, is a mixture of several real-world sites, studio sets, and CGI magic.

The main location used for the outdoor scenes of Hogwarts – at least in the first film, I’m not so sure of the second – is Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, which I believe is the second-largest occupied castle in England (after Windsor). The obvious give-away, if you know the castle, is the statues up on the parapets.

I believe the Great Hall scenes were shot at one of the colleges at Oxford University. I’ll see if i can find which one, but I think it was one of the female ones.

And heres the link, it was filmed at Christ Church College, Oxford

Alnwick Castle certainly gets a LOT of visitors thinking it’s Hogwarts :slight_smile:

I believe it was only used for outdoor shots tho - such as the broomstick scene in the first film?

It was also the location of the first series of Black Adder if anyone is that curious :slight_smile:



Blackadder is always apropos! Thanks!

I went to Wellesley which has miniatures of a lot of those rooms.

[]These blokes will be happy to sell you a tour of Harry Potter filming locations. The Great Hall is at Christ Church, Oxford, although computers were used to expand its width to fit all 4 house tables.

An awful lot was filmed at (I think) Leaveden Studios, Hertfordshire though.
My brother-in-law is a grip, and worked on both films. My nieces both got to be extras on the 1st film, and one of them did her school ‘work experience’ week in the makeup department during the making of the 2nd film. I believe the next one is in production at Shepperton, Pinewood & Leaveden Studios but B-I-L is off swanning around in Malta working on the new Brad Pitt ‘Troy’ film. He is a jammy bugger, as filmiong moves to Mexico after that.

I wonder why they didn’t just film it at the real Hogwarts.

You’re kidding, right? Hogwart’s: A History clearly explains that muggle electronics like cameras and microphones won’t work around Hogwart’s because of all the protective spells and charms surrounding it.

On one of the DVDs–the 1st IIRC–there’s a “making of” segment that shows some of the locations as they are and as they appear in the film.