Inside the world’s oldest prep school

Founded in around the 10th century AD, Hogwarts, an independent British boarding school in the highlands of Scotland has to be one of the oldest, if not the oldest prep schools in the world (Eton College in comparison was founded in 1440).

Now that the school year has ended until September, we took a chance to take a look around the prestigious school.

Inside the Great Hall, pupils at the boarding school take meals together at traditional long benches.


The student body are divided into 4 ‘houses’ – as is traditional in British boarding schools. These four houses are represented by the colours green, blue, red and gold. They operate a points reward system for students, a visual representation of these points are kept in public view in the Great Hall

Below: the Headmaster’s chair

Students sleep in dormitories assigned according to their House. Below beds in the Gryffindor house dormitory. Students are permitted to bring items of comfort from home such as patchwork blankets. Each student brings their items for the school year in an initialed trunk, although using three initials is more common in British boarding schools.

Below: the school uniform with Gryffindor striped house tie

The school chemistry labs

A standard-issue chemistry text book.

Some more student text books


As with many British boarding schools, most students come from well-off backgrounds. Most students and their families will bank with Gringotts Bank in London.

Before term starts at the school, pupils will buy their text books from London-based exotic book seller Flourish & Blotts.

Students also buy their unique, personalised wands from Olivanders whilst in London, who have been supplying wands since 382 BC, their shelves and windows are lined with boxes upon boxes of individually named wands.



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July 2011