Harry Potter author JK Rowling secretly buys childhood Gloucestershire home

Harry Potter author JK Rowling has secretly purchased the Gloucestershire home she grew up in as a child.

The well-known writer bought Church Cottage - a Grade II-listed property in Tutshill in the Forest of Dean - back in 2011.

Land Registry records show it was purchased for around £400,000 by Edinburgh-based Caernarfon Lettings Ltd, which lists the author's husband Neil Murray as a director.

Rowling pictured with her husband Dr Neil Murray. Credit: PA

The cottage, which Rowling lived in with her family from the age of nine to 18, is believed to have provided some inspiration for the Harry Potter franchise.

For instance, the property has a dingy cupboard under the stairs similar to the one Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon Dursley forced Harry to live in before he left for Hogwarts.

It also has a cellar reminiscent of the one where Harry searches for the Philosopher's Stone in the first novel.

Rowling’s Gloucestershire connections

During the author’s teens, she was head girl at the nearby Wyedean School in Sedbury and characters such as Snape and Ron Weasley are said to have been based on teachers and friends she had at the time.

Church Cottage in Tutshill in the Forest of Dean. Credit: Google Maps

After completing her A-levels, she moved out to study French and Classics at Exeter University before studying in Paris and moving to London to work for Amnesty International and then Scotland.

Apart from naming a Quidditch team Tutshill Tornadoes, Rowling was thought to have cut all ties with the area - which many believe is the basis for her first adult novel The Casual Vacancy.

After her mother died in 1990, her father - who worked at Rolls Royce on the outskirts of Bristol - rented out the detached three-bedroomed property and then sold it to BBC producer Julian Mercer in 1995, who kept the writer's signature.

Mr Mercer then sold the property back to Rowling in 2011.