If you’re a Harry Potter enthusiast visiting Hogwarts (or rather, the locations that inspired it), you won’t want to miss the chance to see the Hospital Wing. So, can you visit your filming location? Of course! The inside of the hospital at Hogwarts is actually the Divinity School, in the Bodleian Library. So, let me show you this essential Harry Potter filming location and explain how you can visit it.
What Is The Hospital Wing from Harry Potter?
Unlike the bustling Great Hall, Hogwarts Hospital Wing or Infirmary is a quieter and more reserved corner of the castle, dedicated to mending the wounds and ailments of students and staff. Since at least 1971, it’s been run by Madam Poppy Pomfrey, who can care for six people at a time.
“Harry swallowed and looked around him. He realised he must be in the hospital wing. He was lying in a bed with white linen sheets, and next to him was a table piled high with what looked like half the sweet-shop.”
The Hospital Wing (or infirmary) is equipped to help with both mundane and magical injuries. If a case is too severe, though (such as when Katie Bell touched the cursed necklace), the patient is sent to St Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries.
Divinity College: The Inspiration for the Hospital Wing
Divinity School, a part of the prestigious University of Oxford, stands as a source of inspiration for the Hogwarts Hospital Wing. With its splendid architectural features, this historic institution has played a significant role in shaping the fictional medical facility in the beloved series.
Divinity School is located in the heart of Oxford and exudes an aura of age-old wisdom. With gothic-style structures, resplendent stained glass windows, and intricate stone carvings, this location is definitely symbolic of the architectural marvels found in the wizarding world.
The meticulous attention to detail exhibited by the filmmakers in capturing Divinity College’s essence is truly commendable. From the arched doorways to the majestic arched windows and the gothic architecture, it’s clear that the aesthetics of Divinity College were woven into the fabric of the Hospital Wing’s design.
Divinity School is attached to the Bodleian Library and can be accessed via the Proscholium, which dates back to 1420.
If you want to learn more about Divinity School, you can also take a look at this article, which covers its history and architecture as part of the Bodleian Library:
The Hospital's Vaulted Ceiling
The vaulted ceiling you can see in the Harry Potter movies, and that you probably remember from this fantastic filming location, is one of Divinity School’s most celebrated features.
The beautiful and intricate vault was completed in 1483. It was made by master mason William Orchard and includes more than a hundred coats of arms. The impressive doorway you will see to the north was actually designed by Si Christopher Wren in 1669. The purpose of this massive opening? To allow processions to pass through to the Sheldonian Theatre.
Divinity School has been in constant use since the university was founded. Specifically, it’s been mostly used for theology lessons and examinations.
So, Was Harry Potter Filmed In This Location?
Indeed! The Divinity School is an actual filming location for Harry Potter.
The hospital wing first appears in Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone, and then once again in Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire. Although, in this case, the purpose was changed from an infirmary to a dancing lesson hall!
Here are a few notable moments where the Hospital Wing plays a significant role:
The Sorcerer’s Stone (2001): In the very first film, after the climactic confrontation with the troll on Halloween night, Hermione Granger is taken to the Hospital Wing to recover from her injuries.
The Chamber of Secrets (2002): In the second installment, the Hospital Wing is seen when various characters, including Colin Creevey and Mrs. Norris, are found petrified by the Basilisk. Madam Pomfrey does her best to treat them.
The Prisoner of Azkaban (2004): After Sirius Black breaks into the castle, Ron Weasley is hospitalized in the Hospital Wing. Later in the movie, Hermione also visits after being injured by the Time-Turner.
The Half-Blood Prince (2009): In this film, Katie Bell is hospitalized in the Hospital Wing after she is cursed by a necklace. This is also where Ron receives treatment after accidentally consuming a love potion.
The Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (2011): During the Battle of Hogwarts, the Hospital Wing is shown to be busy with injured students and staff, and many pivotal scenes occur here as the battle rages on.
Can you Visit this Harry Potter Filming Location?
Of course, you can! The colleges of Oxford University and the streets of Oxford city that inspired the books and movies are all open to the public all year round. You don’t even need to book your visit; you can just drop by, pay a small entrance fee, and be transported right to Hogwarts.
This applies also to Christ Church College, which is open practically all day long. If you’re unsure whether the college will be open, you can check their website here and/or book a ticket in advance for £10. There are also guided tours every 30 to 60 minutes.
You can use this map to find your way around the different Harry Potter filming locations:
Books to Help You Explore Harry Potter Filming Locations
If you want to learn more about the Geat Hall (Dining Hall) and other Harry Potter filming locations, and learn why J.K Rowling and the creators of the films were so inspired by Oxford, here are some good books I recommend: