"He always did himself well, Lucius. Peacocks..."
-- Yaxley (DH1)
Located in southwestern England in Wiltshire (OP15), the Malfoy Mansion is a “handsome manor house” with extensive grounds (DH1). Draco Malfoy grew up here with his parents, Lucius and Narcissa, and their house-elf Dobby. Dobby was freed in 1993, and we know of no other family members or house-elves who have stayed here (CS18).
At some point during his 1996-1997 ascent to power, Voldemort decided to begin using the Malfoy Mansion as a base for Death Eaters (DH1). He wasn’t around much himself, but a number of Death Eaters stayed there and prisoners were kept in the cellar under the drawing room (DH1, DH23, DH26).
Located off a “narrow lane,” the entrance to the grounds of the mansion is grand indeed. A high, manicured yew hedge borders the driveway on both sides. The driveway is perfectly straight, running through wrought-iron gates and straight up to the front door. Though we never see the rest of the grounds, there are hints of an expansive landscape: the garden has a fountain and albino peacocks roam the lawns (DH1, DH23).
Jo has also described the gardens as a contrast to Harry’s background – she planned a scene for the books that never made it in, but took place in the gardens and “showed the difference between the place where Draco has grown up and number four, Privet Drive.” Given that number four, Privet Drive is a nice house itself, it’s safe to assume that peacocks aren’t the only taste of elegance present around the Malfoy mansion (JKR).
Inside the house is no different – “sumptuously decorated, with a magnificent carpet” and “ornate,” “gilded” furnishings. There is a large entrance hall with a door that leads directly into the drawing room, where Voldemort held a meeting with his Death Eaters (DH1) and where Harry and his friends were interrogated and tortured after their capture. Off of this room, a dark passageway leads to a steep staircase and a cellar, where Mr. Ollivander and Luna Lovegood were held as prisoners (DH23). These rooms are the only ones described in the books, though presumably there are many more as well.
Draco Malfoy has also described a “secret chamber under the drawing-room floor,” where Lucius can hide his Dark Arts stuff from Ministry officials when they conduct raids (CS12); this is presumably the same chamber that is used for prisoners years later, as when Mr. Ollivander is trapped there his cries come from beneath the floor of this room (DH1). The entrance to it doesn’t seem particularly inconspicuous, though; perhaps it’s normally hidden behind a tapestry.
- The mansion is raided by Ministry officials on the lookout for Dark Arts items, the week before Christmas 1992. They don’t find anything, though, as Lucius has hidden his items beneath the drawing room floor (CS12).
- Lucius Malfoy is interviewed from his mansion by the Daily Prophet – in the interview he comments on his approval of Umbridge and concern with Dumbledore (OP15).
- The mansion is again raided by the Ministry after Lucius Malfoy is caught in the Department of Mysteries; Arthur Weasley later leads a team of Ministry officials on yet another raid after Harry informs him of the conversation he overheard between Draco and Mr. Borgin in Knockturn Alley (HBP11).
- Voldemort holds a meeting of Death Eaters here during the summer of 1997; Charity Burbage is killed (DH1).
- Harry, Ron, and Hermione are brought here along with Dean Thomas and Griphook after being captured by Snatchers, and meet Luna Lovegood and Mr. Ollivander, in the cellar. Dobby arrives to rescue them and the group manages to get away, though Dobby and Wormtail are both killed in the altercation (DH23).
- Voldemort was almost certainly in the Malfoy Manor in 1998 when he learned that Harry had stolen Hufflepuff’s cup and proceeded to kill at least one goblin in his fit of rage. He was certainly in a building that had a fountain in the front garden, with both Lucius Malfoy and Bellatrix Lestrange present (DH27).