Sunday, 29 March 2015

Alnwick Castle, England


     
The movie of the first Harry Potter book, HARRY POTTER AND THE PHILOSPHER’S STONE (also known as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone), follows the first year of the young wizard at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Alnwick Castle, situated in the county Northumberland in the north of England, was chosen as the principal shooting location for Hogwarts. The castle was used only for exterior scenes and filming was done in the summer of 2011. Building of the castle started around 1100 and over the years it has been rebuilt and renovated several times.

Alnwick Castle, 29 July 2011
For more than 700 years it is has been home for the same family, headed by the Duke of Northumberland. Between March and October the castle is open to the public. Since the filming of the Harry Potter movies the number of visitors has been tripled and there are several activities especially for children, including how to master your broom in a ‘broomstick training’. One of the castle’s walls has a large photo from the first film with the text “Take your first flying lesson!”. More information can be found on the website of Alnwick Castle.

At Hogwarts Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) and his class mates get their first flying lesson from Madame Hooch (Zoë Wanamaker). These scenes were filmed on the Outer Bailey, between the main entrance and the castle itself.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, 0:55:04
Alnwick Castle, 29 July 2011
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, 0:55:24
Alnwick Castle, 29 July 2011
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, 0:56:08
Alnwick Castle, 29 July 2011

When Neville Longbottom (Matthew Lewis) cannot control his broom he flies in all directions and finally crashes. Harry Potter turns out to be very talented at broomstick flying.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, 0:56:25
Alnwick Castle, 29 July 2011
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, 0:56:53
Alnwick Castle, 29 July 2011
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, 0:58:59
Alnwick Castle, 29 July 2011
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, 0:59:01
Alnwick Castle, 29 July 2011

Professor Minerva McGonagall (Maggie Smith) sees from her castle window that Harry Potter has a great talent for flying. She goes outside to introduce him to Oliver Wood (Sean Biggerstaff) of Gryffindor's quidditch team. In a later scene, also filmed on the Outer Bailey, he explains how the game is being played.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, 0:59:06
Alnwick Castle, 29 July 2011
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, 1:03:59
Alnwick Castle, 29 July 2011

The courtyard of the castle can be seen briefly when Harry Potter is joined by Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermoine Granger (Emma Watson). They leave the castle to visit Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane), Hogwarts’ groundkeeper. On the far right is the entrance to the main building of the castle.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, 1:50:09
Alnwick Castle, 29 July 2011

Earlier in the movie the Lion Arch on the other side of Alnwick Castle was seen for a short moment. This entrance can be seen better when the three friends walk towards the house of Hagrid. Other buildings have also been used to represent Hogwarts and the screenshot of the castle shows that part of it was created on the computer.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, 1:25:03
Alnwick Castle, 29 July 2011
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, 1:50:23
Alnwick Castle, 29 July 2011
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, 1:50:34
Alnwick Castle, 29 July 2011
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, 1:50:46
Alnwick Castle, 29 July 2011

This short video shows the castle and the Outer Bailey where the first flying lesson was shot.



       
While on their way for their second year at Hogwarts in HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS, Harry and Ron miss the train because they cannot enter Platform 9 ¾.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, 0:26:02
They decide to travel to school by means of the flying car, a Ford Anglia, owned by Rons father Arthur (Mark Williams). Their trip turns out to be dangerous - Harry nearly falls out of the car - and they are not to be seen by muggles. When they finally arrive at Hogwarts it is already late and to make things worse the Ford lands in the Whomping Willow. The aggressive tree removes the car from its branches and after Harry, Ron, their pets and their luggage have been thrown out it drives straight into the Forbidden Forest.

The scenes where the car arrives at Hogwarts were again filmed at Alnwick Castle, this time at night. The Inner Bailey (of which I forgot to take pictures...) and, just as in the first movie, the Lion Arch can been seen.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, 0:28:42
Alnwick Castle, 29 July 2011

Screenshots © Warner Bros.