The Harry Potter Compendium

Godric's Hollow is a village in the West Country of England. It is a small community, which centres on a village square with only a church, a post office, a pub, and a few retail shops. The residential streets are lined with quaint cottages. Godric's Hollow has been inhabited by a number of notable wizarding families. The Dumbledore family and Bathilda Bagshot both resided in the village, but it is perhaps most famous as where Harry Potter's parents lived when he was a baby, and where they were killed and Voldemort met his first downfall. Thus, the village is notorious, as the place where Harry Potter became known as "the Boy Who Lived". Despite this, Harry did not visit until Christmas of 1997. According to A History of Magic, the graveyard is rumoured to be haunted.

Wizarding Population

Bathilda Bagshot's note that Godric's Hollow is the home of a relatively large number of wizards does not indicate that it is a purely Wizarding village; in fact, Hogsmeade village is the only purely Wizarding village in Britain. As such, wizard residents of Godric's Hollow must still avoid open use of magic to avoid disturbing the Muggle residents of the village. This is why the monuments to the Potter family must be hidden: the sculpture of the family appears to be an ordinary cenotaph except at certain angles, and presumably only wizards can see it at all.

Similarly, the Potter cottage on the edge of the village is charmed to be invisible to Muggles. One must assume that a charm similar to the one that hides 12 Grimmauld Place must be in use at the latter site, to prevent Muggles from trying to build on the apparently empty lot as the village grows. Given the Dumbledore family experience with Muggles, it is a little surprising that the family chose to settle at Godric's Hollow rather than Hogsmeade. However, it is possible that there was some family history that connected the family to this village; and it seems likely that the Dumbledore family chose to live in a part of the village that was primarily wizard-occupied.



Lord Voldemort in Godric's Hollow in 1981.

In A History of Magic, Bathilda Bagshot writes that Godric's Hollow is one of a number of villages where wizards settled in relatively large numbers after the ratification of the International Statute of Secrecy in 1689. It appears that the Dumbledore family moved to Godric's Hollow when Albus Dumbledore's father Percival was imprisoned. Albus and his mother Kendra, sister Ariana, and brother Aberforth lived here, until Kendra's and Ariana's deaths. At the time, Bathilda Bagshot was their neighbour. Godric's Hollow was famed as the birthplace of Godric Gryffindor, and also as the final resting place of at least one of the Peverell family.

Duel between Grindelwald, Albus, and Aberforth

In 1899, a three-way duel broke out between Gellert Grindelwald, Albus Dumbledore, and Aberforth Dumbledore. Ariana Dumbledore, aged about 14 at the time, tried to help but did not know what she was doing and was inadvertently killed.

Murder of the Potters

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James Potter dead in 1981.

On 31 October, 1981, James and Lily Potter were murdered by Lord Voldemort in their home in Godric's Hollow, at which time Voldemort lost his powers and physical form when he tried to kill the couple's infant son, Harry, due to Lily's sacrifice. James and Lily's bodies were laid to rest in the Godric's Hollow graveyard. Their tombstone reads, "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death."

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Statue of James, Lily, and Harry Potter.

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Lily Evans dead in 1981.

A statue was later erected in the village square in memory of the Potter family. From a distance, it appears as an obelisk carved with names, but transforms into a statue of the Potters when a wizard or witch gets closer to it.

Harry's visit and Nagini's attack

Harry Potter and Hermione Granger visited Godric's Hollow in 1997 to find Bathilda Bagshot, in the hope that she had Godric Gryffindor's Sword, which they needed to destroy Voldemort's Horcruxes. While there, Harry visited both his parents' graves and their former home, which, according to the sign that had been set in the ground outside of the house, had been preserved in "its ruined state as a monument to the Potters and as a reminder of the violence that tore apart their family."

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Harry and Hermione visiting James and Lily Potter's grave

This sign had been graffitied over the years with names and messages of support for Harry. The house, like the statue, had been made invisible to Muggles. During the same visit, they were attacked by Nagini, disguised as Bathilda Bagshot. Lord Voldemort had previously killed Bathilda and used Dark Magic to conceal Nagini within her corpse. She could not speak, however, except in Parseltongue and communicated mainly through gesturing.

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The ruined Potter's house in Godric's Hollow.

After Nagini lured Harry away from Hermione and verified his identity, she telepathically contacted Voldemort, who told her to hold him. However, Hermione intervened, blasting the snake away and Disapparating with Harry just as Voldemort arrived. During the struggle, Harry's wand was inadvertently broken by Hermione's miscast curse.


Godric's Hollow is one of the places where magical families have come to live alongside Muggles. Over the centuries, it has been home to many wizards and witches of note, including Godric Gryffindor, who was born there, and Bowman Wright who forged the first Golden Snitch there in the Middle Ages.

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Severus Snape at the home of Lily and James Potter in 1981 following their deaths.

Others who called the village home were the Dumbledore family, the family of James and Lily Potter and Bathilda Bagshot. Ignotus Peverell, pure-blood ancestor of Harry Potter, was born and subsequently buried at Godric's Hollow. It is rumoured that many people (of whom were Muggles) who lived in Godric's Hollow were sacrificed by wizards to Lord Voldemort.

Places of interest

  • Potter cottage: Home of James, Lily and Harry Potter. Partly destroyed after Voldemort's attack in 1981, it had been left in its ruined state and made invisible to Muggles, as a monument to the Potters and to Voldemort's first downfall.
  • Potter memorial: A statue depicting James and Lily Potter holding baby Harry.
  • Bathilda Bagshot's home: The house of Bathilda Bagshot. Nagini attacks Harry and Hermione there in 1997.
  • Dumbledore's home: Home of the Dumbledore family before the death of Ariana Dumbledore.
  • Graveyard: The local cemetery has among others, the graves of the Potter, Dumbledore and Peverell families.

Behind the scenes


The Harry Potter Compendium has 1 image related to Godric's Hollow.

Notes and references

  1. See this image.
  2. Harry Potter Reading Club live webchat, 11 October 2012 (source here)