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The Harry Potter Canon

"This is the best house I've ever been in."
--  Harry Potter, CS3

The Burrow

Introduction

Home to the Weasley family, the Burrow is a house just outside the village of Ottery St. Catchpole (GF6), and is built so crazily that it must certainly be held up by magic. It is likely to have once been a farmhouse (though it looks more like it might have been a “large stone pigpen”), on top of which several crooked stories look to have been added (CS3). Currently the house has six bedrooms (DH6) and six stories, plus an attic, with a rickety uneven staircase climbing among the stories. Overall, despite the garden gnomes, the old boots and chickens littering the yard, and the ghoul in the attic, the house has a cozy, warm feeling (CS3), and Harry often thinks of it as his “second favorite building in the world” after Hogwarts (HBP4).

Harry has always been a welcome guest at the Burrow, as Molly Weasley in particular treated Harry almost as one of her own. As Voldemort regained power, though, this became more and more dangerous and powerful security precautions had to be placed upon the building, first by the Ministry of Magic (HBP4) and later by the Order of the Phoenix. Following the death of Albus Dumbledore, amidst concerns that Severus Snape might infiltrate the headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix, the Order shifted its headquarters from number twelve, Grimmauld Place in London to the Burrow (DH6).

On August 1, 1997, Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour were married, with the ceremony held at the Burrow so that the guests (and particularly Harry Potter) would be better protected (DH5). In the midst of the celebration, however, the Ministry of Magic finally caved and fell toVoldemort and the Death Eaters. Thus, the protective enchantments surrounding the Burrow were broken, and the party was quickly ambushed by Death Eaters. Fortunately, in large part due to a warning message sent by Kingsley Shacklebolt, the guests were able to get to safety, and the Death Eaters never learned that Harry had ever been present (DH9, DH11).

Outside the Burrow

Front Yard
Harry’s first impression of the Weasleys’ home is of its front yard, where chickens wander around, Wellington boots and a rusty cauldron litter the lawn, and a lopsided sign stuck in the ground announces its location: “The Burrow” (CS3).

Garden
Behind the house is a large garden, surrounded by a fence (DH7) and a hedge, as well as gnarled trees. Its normal state, at least at the end of summer when Harry normally visits, is one of overgrowth, filled with weeds and with grass that needs cutting – though the place was tidyed up considerably, including the addition of two Flutterby bushes, for Bill and Fleur’s wedding. The garden also has a “big green pond full of frogs,” and over the hedges are fields and hills that lead up to the family’s orchard (CS3). When the Weasleys have a particularly large number of guests, they sometimes put tables together in the backyard for dinner, rather than trying to eat in the kitchen; this is particularly pleasant on warm summer evenings, when the air fills with “the smells of grass and honeysuckle” at dusk (GF5).

Orchard
Up the hill behind the Burrow’s garden this “small paddock” is usually used by the Weasley children for pick-up Quidditch matches (GF10). It’s particularly convenient for this as the orchard is surrounded by trees, and therefore can’t be seen by any prying Muggle eyes (CS4). ForBill and Fleur’s wedding, a large tent was erected in the orchard, and the ceremony and the after-party both took place here (DH9).

Broom shed
Off the garden is a “run-down stone outhouse” that is now used as a broom shed. Though it’s smelly and full of spiders, this was whereDumbledore pulled Harry for a brief conversation when he dropped him off at the Burrow in the summer of 1996 (HBP4). It was from this shed that Ginny, starting at age six, “borrowed” her brothers’ broomsticks so she could teach herself Quidditch (OP26).

Garage
There is a garage in the front yard, where Fred and George park the Ford Anglia after they use it to pick up Harry from Privet Drive (CS3).

Chicken coop
Possibly the same structure as the garage. Regardless, this is where the chickens are kept, and where Arthur keeps the leftover pieces from theflying motorcyle hidden from Molly (DH6).

Ground Floor

Kitchen
Up the steps from the garden and through the back door (DH7), the Weasleys’ kitchen is the center of life in their household. A “small and rather cramped” room, it has a scrubbed wooden table with eight chairs, a window overlooking the house’s front path, and a prominent fireplace, with the mantlepiece stacked three deep with cookbooks. Just inside the back door sits a perch for the family owl, Errol, and nearby a long narrow passageway leads to the staircase and the rest of the house (CS3, CS4, HBP5). Though the room is described several times as “tiny” (GF10) and it is too small for more than eight to sit for dinner (GF5), it is large enough that Fred and George were once able to put on an indoor display of Filibuster Fireworks here for the family (CS5).

Scullery
A tiny room off the kitchen, most likely used simply as a laundry room. There is a mangle in the corner (DH6).

Sitting room
Also called the “living room” (HBP16), the Burrow’s sitting room is described as “shabby but cozy,” lit by oil lamps with a sagging armchair and a comfortable couch (DH7). There is also a fireplace and a “large wooden wireless set,” around which the family gathers for holidays (HBP16). On one wall is a sideboard with firewhisky and glasses (DH5). During the days leading up to Bill and Fleur’s wedding, Arthur and Molly slept in the sitting room, as the Burrow’s six bedrooms were all packed with the rest of the family and guests (DH6).

First Floor

Something to Remember Me ByGinny’s bedroom
A “small, but bright” room with posters of the Weird Sisters and the Holyhead Harpies. Her desk sits in front of a window that overlooks theorchard behind the house (DH7). Ginny often shares this room with Hermione when she’s visiting (GF6), and has once also shared it withFleur (HBP16). This bedroom likely used to be Charlie’s.

Bill’s bedroom
Probably (though not definitely) located on the first floor. Bill shared this room with Charlie whenever Charlie came to visit, though that wasn’t very often (DH6).

Second Floor

Percy’s bedroom
Percy’s room is on the second floor with a window overlooking the garden (GF5). During the days leading up to Bill and Fleur’s wedding, Fleur stayed here with her little sister, Gabrielle (DH6).

Weasley Twins' RoomFred and George’s bedroom When Harry stayed at the Burrow for several weeks in the summer of 1996, he slept in Fred and George’s bedroom on the second floor. At the time it was filled with sealed cardboard boxes, something of a warehouse for Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes. The room also had a wardrobe, a desk, and a bedside table with a lamp, along with a number of Fred and George’s products lying around. Even more noticeable was a lingering smell of gunpowder (HBP5), probably dating from the days of Fred and George living in the house, when the sounds of explosions coming from their bedroom were “considered perfectly normal” (CS4).

Third Floor

Bathroom
There is most likely at least a bathroom on this floor, though there does not seem to be a bedroom. This room was the one through which young Ginny spotted Harry as he walked up the stairs on his first trip to the Burrow (CS3).

Fourth Floor

Master Bedroom
Arthur and Molly’s bedroom, which was filled with wedding presents in the days leading up to Bill and Fleur’s wedding, at least until the Delacours arrived and slept here instead (DH6

Fifth Floor

rons-room-tumblr_n2c5txt1mV1srt8eno2_500Ron’s Bedroom
Sometimes referred to by the family as the bedroom in the “attic,” the room with the sign marked “Ronald’s Room” is completely decked out in the orange hangings of the Chudley Cannons, Ron’s favorite Quidditch team (CS3). Here Ron has a tank with a frog on the windowsill and a cage for Pigwidgeon (GF5). Generally when Harry comes to visit, the Weasleys add a camp bed to Ron’s room for Harry to sleep on (HBP16).

Attic

Just outside Ron’s bedroom, a small hatch opens from the ceiling, revealing a ladder to the attic. Up the ladder is a tiny space nestled beneath the building’s rafters, where the family ghoul lives (DH6) and sometimes bangs the pipes in the night (CS3).

Harry first visits the Burrow in CS3 and CS4.

Subsequent visits:

Commentary

Notes

About a mile south of the town of Ottery St. Mary in Devon, near where Rowling went to university, is an actual farm called The Burrow.

burrow_farm2 edited

Pensieve (Comments)

  • Ryan

    Just a note that it appears some information may have bee’n lost with the site changeover. After mentioning that the third floor bathroom is likely the room from which Ginny saw Harry in CS, there is a note to “see below” for further information on why this may be the case; unless I’m totally missing something, this further information appears to be missing. Love the new site, especially the fan art integration. Keep up the amazing work, Steve, and thanks for everything you’ve done for the fandom.

    • Jeanne K.

      Thanks so much for your comment and kind words, Ryan! Great catch on the editing (yes something has been lost and we can’t find it yet – please check back later) and be sure to let us know if you find any other mistakes so we can keep everything as accurate as possible. ~ Jeanne, Senior Editor

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