Harry Potter Books Wikia

Hogwarts Castle was the place of education for students of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, found in the Scottish Highlands. The building was created in the late 10th century by celebrated witches and wizards, Godric Gryffindor, Salazar Slytherin, Rowena Ravenclaw and Helga Hufflepuff.

The school was an incredible piece of magical architecture with many towers and turrets. It was unplottable and became over time, home to many halls, rooms, corridors and wings, which may tend to move around and staircases even trick students and staff.


In the late tenth century, four witches and wizards observed there was a need for a school of magic to teach young witches and wizards. They each founded their own school House to champion these witches and wizards who had skills and traits they prized.

Helga Hufflepuff contributed substantially to the founding of the school. She "brought people from different walks of life together to help build Hogwarts". Helga created many recipes for food which continued to be served at Hogwarts even a thousand years later.[1] She even had house-elves live and work in their kitchens, and Hogwarts became the only place at the time to treat them in a kind manner.[2]

The founders lived and taught in harmony for many years, until Salazar Slytherin eventually caused an argument. He had only wanted the school to teach Pure-blood students, but he didn't have any support. Slytherin left the school when he created a secret chamber under the school, to leave a Basilisk which would one day purge the school of Muggle-born students.[3][4] It would not be found by anyone except an Heir of Slytherin until 1993, and it soon turned into a legend.[5]


Coat of Arms

Hogwarts was a boarding school which students could attend for up to seven years. Their school House became their family. They would study seven subjects for two years and then chose at least another two subjects in their third-year to take up to O.W.L. study. Then they chose from the subjects in which they received a pass grade, if they wanted to continue it into N.E.W.T. study.


Hogwarts Castle was a very haunted dwelling. There were four ghosts for each House: Nearly Headless Nick, the Bloody Baron, Fat Friar and The Grey Lady, who was the daughter of founder Rowena Ravenclaw. A poltergeist called Peeves caused havoc in the school. There was a Professor Cuthbert Binns who taught History of Magic, and a former student who was killed by a Basilisk.


The school in September 1991

Hogwarts was constructed on a cliff overlooking a very large lake. There were seven floors constructed using resources including stone, oak doors, wooden beams, iron frames and marble. When looking at Hogwarts, it was obvious it could only be held together by magic.[6]

The magical ever-changing building where rooms switched around was the invention of founder Rowena Ravenclaw. The idea of an accurate floor plan was near impossible to achieve, but many rooms and secret passageways for example were known to stay put and their whereabouts were known. There were 142 staircases which were rickety, wide, narrow or sweeping. There were walls pretending to be a door, and doors which would not open until spoken to in a polite manner. There were dungeons and basements, sloping lawns and a boat house.[7]



Entrance doors

There were two ways of finding the entrance to the school. For students in the second-year and above, they would take a route from Hogsmeade station. There were at least a hundred carriages which take students down a long, sloping drive to the front gates of the school. These gates were wrought-iron and flanked by two stone columns. These columns were topped by two winged boars.[8]

Students continued to walk until they reached an oak door, which led to the Entrance Hall.[9][8] These front doors could be taught to recognise a person.[10]

First-year students would take a steep, narrow path to the Black Lake and take magical boats via the lake to an underground cavern of rocks and pebbles. They followed a nearby passageway until they reached stone steps which led to the same oak door.[9]

The large Entrance Hall was a cavernous stone hall, and had a very high ceiling. The ground floor had a door which led to an empty chamber off the hall, and a pair of double doors which led to the Great Hall. There was marble staircase leading up to the upper floors.[6]

Great Hall

There were four long tables for each house with golden plates and goblets. There were thousands and thousands of candles in mid-air. The ceiling was bewitched with many themes which changed from day to day to match the sky outside. At the top of the Hall was another long table where the teachers were seated, named the High Table. The Headteacher was seated in the center of the table on the golden chair.[6]

Gryffindor Tower

The path from the Great Hall to the Gryffindor Tower was up the marble staircase and through many corridors of hanging portraits, two doorways hidden by sliding panels and hanging tapestries and many staircases until they reached the end of a corridor where the portrait of the Fat Lady hung. When the portrait swung the door open, there was a cosy, round room of armchairs.[6]

There were at least two doors, one leading to the girls dormitory and one to the boys dormitory, which was at the top of a spiral staircase. There were five four poster beds for Harry's year, with red velvet curtains.[6] The girls staircase would turn into a slide if anyone else tried to walk up them. The common room had a bulletin board for school notices etc., there was a large fireplace and a window which overlooked part of the school grounds.


There were 142 staircases which ranged in look and layout. There were sweeping, rickety and wide staircases. The marble staircase was in the Great Hall and there were stone staircases. There were ones which would lead to a new place on Friday and ones with a trick step where students needed to jump.[7]


Hogwarts Quidditch pitch.jpeg

Hogwarts Castle had at least seven known secret passages that led out of the school into Hogsmeade. The Marauders found them during their time at the school from September 1971 and June 1978 and they put them on the Marauder's Map. Argus Filch knew them too. Fred and George found it in their first year and later gave it to Harry Potter. They each used the passages many times during their education. The known ones were:


The dungeons were found through a door in the Entrance Hall and down a staircase. The Potions classroom was at the bottom of the stairs. The dungeons had many rooms including the Slytherin common room.

The grounds

Hogwarts grounds - POA IE.jpeg

The grounds of Hogwarts Castle were extensive and went to the edge of the Forbidden Forest. Hagrid's Hut was on the edge and he had a paddock in the Forest where Care of Magical Creatures took place. He had a pumpkin outside the house.[7][12][13][14] There was an underground cavern that had steps leading up to the front doors of the school.[9] There was an Owlery, Herbology greenhouses and a vegetable patch. The grounds had a Quidditch pitch.[7] It had slopping lawns and a wide flat lawn that Flying was taken at.[11]

Author's Notes

Rowling's sketch

Rowling's second sketch

Rowling's sketch of the map of the school provides a better picture of the actual layout of the school in Rowling's mind. Hogsmeade station was to the right of the Black Lake, and the boats found through the nearby trees to the left where the Black Lake was. The other path to the school was around the Black Lake in carriages.

The path took them around the lake and grounds of Hogwarts, passing by Hogsmeade and arriving at the front gate. Hogsmeade was to the north of the school, and there was the school wall which led from the north-west of the Great Lake and around at least part of the Forbidden Forest to the right of the school.

Notes and sources