Number Four Privet Drive
aerial view – number four and number six with yards and gardens
This Muggle house, located in Little Whinging, Surrey, to the south-west of London, was where Harry Potter lived from November 1, 1981 through August 31, 1991. [NOTE: This plan is created strictly from the information in the books and from a visit to a Surrey house similar to this by Nik the Hermit, with special thanks to Hufflepuff Mel.]
General Notes to the Aerial View of Number Four
The aerial view of number four Privet Drive is based upon an actual house in North Surrey of the right period and size. This house is certainly within 3 miles of the only possible location of Little Whinging.
Several very minor changes have been made to the dimensions and proportions to ensure that the plan matches all the information in the books. Details have been added and are listed below.
It should be noted that, for convenience, both the scale and orientation used have been changed from those used in the floor plans. These are both shown.
The view shows number four Privet Drive and, to clearly demonstrate the positioning of the neighbouring houses, portions of both number two and number six. Only number four is shown in detail.
The plan uses both canon facts from the books and some logical deductions, thus:
The House in General:
- Number four is a large, square detached four-bedroomed house (General)
- The back door leads from the kitchen to the garden. (OP3)
- There are fireplaces (with chimneys) in at least the lounge and kitchen (General). Because of the position of the lounge fireplace (on the side wall) there must be two chimneystacks to the house.
- The house faces to the east (PS2).
- The gardens are square and neat. (General)
The Front Garden and Street:
- Under the lounge window there is a flower bed with large hydrangea bushes (OP1). The flower bed has to be deep enough for Harry to hide behind the bush.
- There is a gravel drive (CS2). This is not wide enough for a car to turn because Vernon has to reverse into Privet Drive when leaving (PS1).
- There is a front garden path (PS1).
- The front garden has a low wall separating it from the street. (General)
- There is a front lawn (immaculate, of course!) (OP1).
- There is a street lamp outside Harry’s bedroom (GF2)
- The street itself, Privet Drive, is wide enough for cars to park (OP1).
The Back Garden:
- There is a greenhouse (PS3). The position of the greenhouse is probable because of the orientation of the house, providing best possible sunlight.
- There is at least one tree. JKR states that Harry was chased up a tree. If there had been only one tree it would have been referred to as “the tree”. I have chosen to show three. (CS1)
- The garden has hedges (PS1, (CS1)
- There is a garden bench across the back garden lawn from the house (CS1)
- The back garden has an immaculate lawn.
- Of course, there are flower beds, including rose bushes (CS1).
- There is a place to keep compost/manure. Harry spreads manure; it has to be kept somewhere! (CS1) In addition Vernon would need a tidy place to dump grass cuttings and autumn leaves.
The facts above give a fairly certain idea of the size of the Number 4 plot. The “squareness” of the gardens and the size of the Drive are the main guides. The plan as shown also exactly matches real houses of the correct size and period!
Although not mentioned in the books, there HAS to be a garage. Firstly, a house of this specification WOULD have one. Secondly, Vernon would need somewhere for garden tools and lawn mower etc. At first I considered the possibility of a garden shed, but if there had been one, Dudley would have commandeered it for the use of his gang! So…a garage but no shed.
Because of the size of the drive it is a single garage (but quite a large one). Because Vernon always walks to the front door from the car, it is shown as a detached garage. Otherwise there would be a door from garage to kitchen.
I suspect that there is a door (either at the side or the back) from the garage to the back garden
The front gates (in the low garden wall) are pretty certain. (Practical and “right” for the house). Double gates to the drive and a single gate for pedestrian use. The latter defines the positions of the front garden paths.
The passages on each side of the house that separate the properties are correct for style and practicality. For security these would both have gates as shown.
Hedges form the majority of the boundaries between properties and are frequently mentioned. I suspect that the front garden hedges are fairly low and the back garden ones quite tall. However, fences are also mentioned and, between the houses and garages (where hedges would be impractical), fencing is shown. and a fairly low fence would just about allow Petunia to “squint at the neighbours runner beans” from the kitchen window (PA2)
There has to be a path leading to the garden bench. An “immaculate” Dursley lawn is not for walking on – Although I believe Harry always walked over the grass.