Gloucester’s great Cloister is famous for its magnificent fan vaulting, which is believed to be the earliest example in England.
Originally built to house the monks, it provided space for them to live, work and meditate. In many abbeys, the cloisters were traditionally built on the south side, but at Gloucester, it unusually lies on the north.
In Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the troll who smashed up the girls’ toilet, trapping Hermione, walked along the north side of the Cloisters while Harry and Ron hid in the Lavatorium just around the corner. The south side doubled as a corridor in Gryffindor, with the door at the west end of the passage being the entrance to the Common Room. This is also where the lady in the oil painting asks for the password.
Meanwhile in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets the east wall at the end of the north walk is where the fateful words ‘The chamber of secrets has been opened’ appeared, written in blood. Just a few paces from here in the east walk, is where Moaning Myrtle flooded the toilets.
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