Harry Potter, Gloucester Cathedral, & Me

Harry Potter, Gloucester Cathedral, & Me

When I did my semester in England back in the mid ’80s, the first thing they did to acclimate us was send us on a “homestay” weekend with a family in the countryside. A bunch of us were sent to a town called Gloucester, where several families had volunteered to entertain us for the weekend. I stayed with a lovable family who chose me because the parents had emigrated from Italy, and they saw I had an Italian last name, plus their daughter was only a little older than I was. Her name was Nancy, and she was a nurse.

Nancy took me to Gloucester Cathedral, an 800 year-old Gothic church that is famous throughout England for its gorgeousness, despite being located in a sleepy little hamlet, lost amid miles and miles of anonymous rolling hills. It truly lived up to its reputation… walking through its spired interior took my breath away. Just the smell of a structure that was older than my whole country made me swoon.

Yesterday I was looking for an lovely photo to jazz up my Tweeter feed, so I looked up Gloucester Cathedral.

Maybe this is a kitsch-y and shallow reason to get excited about having been there, in light of the eight centuries of history the cathedral has endured, but…

Turns out they filmed parts of the Harry Potter series in Gloucester Cathedral.

Maybe if I weren’t a writer who sat on my bed reading hours and hours of these novels to my daughter, this wouldn’t mean as much to me…

But it freaking does!

Sentiment aside, it was probably the most beautiful man-made place I’ve ever (gingerly) set down my feet.

Who knew what Hollywood and the world of middle-grade literature had in store for it?