A History Of Magic

Last Updated

05/31/21

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Profiles Of British Wizarding Villages

Chapter 19

The Emergence of Wizarding Villages

  Since
the beginning of time, witches and wizards have lived within Muggle communities
and, often, while using their magical abilities to their fullest extent. While
cohesion in European communities was never as complete as it was in most
ancient communities, there was some acceptance and tolerance in European communities,
though some communities were markedly better at accommodating both magic and
non-magic peoples than others. To understand wizarding villages, one must first
understand how witches and wizards came to desire to be separate, and that all
begins with Muggle witch-hunts.


Hogsmeade



  Perhaps
the most famous wizarding village in Britain is Hogsmeade Village, which lies
just outside of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry’s boundaries. This
village is the only all-magical community in Britain, as opposed to the
abundant ‘communities within communities’ that are most wizarding villages.
This is also one of the oldest wizarding communities, having been founded
between 1010 and 1030. The date remains uncertain because of poorly kept
records of the time, but Hengist of Woodcroft is credited with the founding of
the village after he was run out of his own town by Muggle witch-hunters. Some
lore indicates that Hengist of Woodcroft lived in the Three Broomsticks
building, but there has never been any document to verify this.



  Hogsmeade
Village has a long, rich history, partly because of its close connection to
Hogwarts School. It has housed numerous notable witches and wizards over the
centuries and has seen the growth of Hogwarts School from a very personal
perspective as third years and up have been allowed to visit Hogsmeade since
the year 1500 (though this right was briefly suspended during 1612 and again
during 1997 and 1998). Its most notable contribution to history, however, is
that Hogsmeade Village was the location of the goblin rebellion of 1612. The
Three Broomsticks Inn was used as the wizards’ headquarters during the bloody
and deadly rebellion, and this rebellion was the first of many in wizarding
history. After the International Statute of Secrecy was signed in 1689,
Hogsmeade saw an influx of residents, as did every other wizarding village in
Britain at this time.



Godric’s Hollow



  Godric’s
Hollow was an unofficial wizarding ‘community within a community’ in the West
Country of England for centuries before the International Statute of Secrecy.
It was the home to many influential families including, unsurprisingly, Godric
Gryffindor. Other notable names include the Dumbledores, the Peverells, Bowman
Wright, the inventor of the Golden Snitch, and the Potters. Prior to the
International Statute of Secrecy, Godric’s Hollow was an unnamed wizarding
community. It had grown into a small collective group of witches and wizards
who leaned on each other for social support, but they had never named the
community. When the International Statute of Secrecy made such communities
official, they chose to name it in honour of Godric Gryffindor, the most well
known one-time resident of the area.



  Among
the many well-known happenings in Godric’s Hollow, the most well known is, of
course, the first downfall of Lord Voldemort, when he murdered Lily and James
Potter and tried to kill Harry Potter in 1981. However, this was by far not the
first important historical event to have happened in Godric’s Hollow. A second
important event was the first duel between Albus Dumbledore and Gellert
Grindelwald, which also involved Albus’s brother, Aberforth. This three-way
duel is less publicised than Albus Dumbledore’s later defeat of Grindelwald,
but it was noteworthy nonetheless as it marked the end of a close friendship
between Dumbledore and Grindelwald. It took place in 1899. While these events
are fairly recent, it must not be forgotten that the true legacy of Godric’s
Hollow is that of one of the Hogwarts founders, Godric Gryffindor, lived in
Godric’s Hollow long before it attained that name.



Mould-on-the-Wold



A lesser-known wizarding community than
Godric’s Hollow, Mould-on-the-Wold was another important magical community in
England. Best known as the early childhood home of Albus Dumbledore, it was
first founded in the early 1700s. What makes Mould-on-the-Wold notable is its
relatively late formation as a wizarding village. It is believed by many that
the Dumbledore family was instrumental in its founding, though this is
difficult to prove as much of Percival Dumbledore’s reputation was ruined when
he was jailed in Azkaban for crimes against Muggle children. Mould-on-the-Wold
provided the same solace that Godric’s Hollow and Hogsmeade Village provided
witches and wizards, giving them both company and support during times rife
with conflict between non-magic and magic peoples.



Ottery St. Catchpole



    Several wizarding families who were
seeking solace and comfort in each other’s company first established Ottery St.
Catchpole in 1693 in Devon, England. This happened shortly after the
enforcement of the International Statute of Secrecy, and the families involved
chose to settle in the countryside within Devon because it was out of the way
and the Muggles of Devon had historically burned fewer witches than those in other
parts of Britain. Notable residents include the Weasleys and the Fawcetts, as
well as the Lovegoods (of whom the best known member is Xenophilius Lovegood,
renowned for the publication of the news source The Quibbler). There have been no major scandals or security
breaches in Ottery St. Catchpole, and it remains one of the most highly
populated wizarding communities in Great Britain, with several eccentric
houses. Muggles have long since accepted that the architecture is a bit ‘odd’
in Ottery St. Catchpole, but it has become a running joke and is rarely
questioned.



Tinworth



  A
coastal community in Cornwall, England, Tinworth was founded around the same
time as Ottery St. Catchpole and for the same reason. The International Statute
of Secrecy was a leading factor in the creation of this community within
Cornwall, where prior to the Statue’s introduction, many witches and wizards
were quite happy living with the tolerant and sometimes Confunded Muggles who
also resided in Cornwall. Tinworth witches and wizards enjoy the coastal
atmosphere, and it is a popular vacation destination for young, particularly
English witches and wizards and those witches and wizards with young children.



  Being
a popular vacation spot for many magical families who have children not yet
trained to control their magic, many odd things have been reported in Muggle
news sources in the Cornwall area. However, most of the time, such occurrences
are played down by Muggles as tricks of the light in the bright ocean air or
credited to overindulgence of alcohol by the Muggles. Rarely do memories need
modifying because non-magic peoples are so very desperate to pretend that magic
does not exist, even if it is in plain view. There are few court cases against
the parents of young witches and wizards because of their children’s inability
to control their magic because of Muggles’ propensity to explain away perfectly
logical magical events, but such cases do happen occasionally.



Upper Flagley



  A
small wizarding community in Yorkshire, England, Upper Flagley was formed in
the late 1600s after the passage of the International Statute of Secrecy,
though it had existed unofficially, much like Godric’s Hollow, for centuries
before. A large number of wizarding families have settled there for the sense of
community and fellowship that they gain from close quarters. While little of
historical note has happened in Upper Flagley, it is worth mentioning as being
one of the longest lasting and prominent wizarding communities for the past
millennium, only eclipsed by Godric’s Hollow and Hogsmeade Village. 



Conclusion



  Wizarding
communities have long been part of greater Muggle communities throughout Europe
and Great Britain. In 1692, they were officially recognised by the wizarding
governing bodies in each country that had sent a delegate to the International
Confederation of Wizards, and the unofficial wizarding communities began naming
themselves to distinguish themselves from other villages and also so that other
witches and wizards would know where to go if they were hoping to settle down
in a wizarding community. Throughout the 1700s and 1800s, wizarding communities
gained great popularity, and there are many more than are mentioned in this
section, but these are the most well-known and spoken of in England. Even
today, in the twenty-first century, wizarding villages are the first choice for
many families, particularly families with children, who hope that their
children will have good friends nearby growing up before going to Hogwarts and
on their breaks from school. The International Statute of Secrecy may have made
the villages official, but wizarding communities, around since the beginning of
European settlements, will likely continue indefinitely.





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