Sirius Maps: West Country

February 2015 Sirius Fudge (Hufflepuff)

As a Harry Potter fan living outside the UK and Europe, I've always thought of the unpopular locations abstractly, not knowing where they are relative to London, for example. My knowledge of the geography is limited to London in the south and Scotland in the north, not where Aberdeen or the Forest of Dean (where they found the sword of Godric Gryffindor) might be.

One of the most intriguing places mentioned in the books is the West Country. It was said that in 1996, Death Eaters and giants destroyed a large part of the West Country, injuring people and rooftops alike. The map above shows the West Country and its location in the UK. The West Country is a region of southwestern England, composed of the following counties: Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, and Somerset. Often included also are Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, and Herefordshire. We can now see the great importance of the place to wizarding history of the UK and the world.

We read in the books that Nicolas Flamel and his wife Perenelle lived in Devon. Here is another interesting piece of trivia: Rubeus Hagrid was born in Gloucestershire and lived there before moving to Hogwarts. Another important location in the West Country is the village of Tinworth. Bill Weasley and his family live on the outskirts of Tinworth, along the coast of Cornwall. It was there, at the Shell Cottage, that Harry Potter buried Dobby, planned the break-in of Gringotts, and learned secrets about the Elder Wand from Ollivander.

A village called Budleigh Babberton, the place where Albus Dumbledore and Harry Potter found Horace Slughorn, is also in the West Country. Godric's Hollow is also most likely to be found in Cornwall or Devon. The village is important because it is the birthplace of Godric Gryffindor and was the home of many wizarding families, including the Dumbledores, Peverells, Potters, and Bathilda Bagshot. Another noteworthy place of settlement for witches and wizards is Ottery St. Catchpole in Devon, which is home to the Diggorys, Weasleys, Fawcetts, Lovegoods, among others.

It is evident that there are many wizarding villages in the West Country. This is because, by muggle standards, the area is remote. With the natural remoteness of the region, it is easier for witches and wizards to adhere to the International Statute of Secrecy and to live normally using magic. A consequence of the many wizarding villages in the region is the great number of Quidditch teams. All the English teams, except one (the Appleby Arrows), are situated in the West Country. These teams are Falmouth Falcons, Chudley Cannons, Wimbourne Wasps, Puddlemere United, and Tutshill Tornados. With this new knowledge of where these places are, appreciation of the many things that happened there are perceived in another light.