Inspired by rand al'thor's question asking us to narrow down the location of Gryffindor's birthplace, I thought I'd ask about the other three.

Where were Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw and Salazar Slytherin born? (The more precision the better.)

2 Answers 2


The Sorting Hat gives us some clues, along with some portraits at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (which has questionable canon status – I’m not sure if JK Rowling was directly consulted on the details).

What we have is also rather vague – nothing as specific as Godric’s Hollow has survived to the present day. And unlike Gryffindor, we only know that these three grew up in a vaguely defined region – we don’t know exactly where, and we don’t know whether they were born somewhere else entirely.

  • Helga Hufflepuff came from Wales.

    In Harry’s fourth year, the Sorting Hat refers to her as:

    Sweet Hufflepuff, from valley broad,

    Within the UK, "the valleys" is commonly associated with Wales.

    Further, according to her HP Wikia article:

    At The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Helga Hufflepuff speaks in a Welsh accent in her portrait on the Forbidden Journey Ride.

  • Rowena Ravenclaw came from Scotland.

    Likewise, the Sorting Hat’s song:

    Fair Ravenclaw, from glen,

    The word “glen” is usually associated with the Scottish valleys. This is further backed up (again from the HP Wikia) by this claim:

    In The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Ravenclaw's portrait speaks with a strong Scottish accent.

  • Salazar Slytherin came from somewhere in east England.

    The Sorting Hat’s song:

    Shrewd Slytherin, from fen

    This could be referring to the Fens, an area of marshland that cover a large stretch of eastern England. But fens are also a natural habitat for certain types of snake – this may be telling us nothing more than his affinity with serpentine creatures.

  • Drat, I missed the Wales part! Not sure how strong the evidence there is though - there are plenty of valleys all over Britain (the Yorkshire Dales spring to mind too).
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Feb 2, 2016 at 18:22
  • 1
    JKR has apparently been very focused on the details of the theme park area, and I think she would give her opinion on this sort of thing, like how she vetoed certain film points.
    – ThruGog
    Commented Feb 2, 2016 at 21:36
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    @randal'thor The Dales may have valleys in the physical geography sense, but most British people I know associate "the valleys" as South Wales. There are also plenty of fens outside of The Fens.
    – HorusKol
    Commented Feb 3, 2016 at 6:08
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    I'm from Yorkshire, and no one would refer to the Yorkshire Dales as "the valleys". They'd simply say "the Dales". "The valleys" is absolutely a colloquialism for Wales.
    – sksamuel
    Commented Feb 3, 2016 at 12:12
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    it might also be worth saying in the Film The Deathly Hallows - Part 2 Helena Ravenclaw speaks with a Scottish accent too being played by the lovely Kelly MacDonald. If the daughter is Scottish the mum might well be too especially with the clue from the poem Commented Feb 3, 2016 at 12:53

Taking a quote from ibid's answer:

A thousand years or more ago,
When I was newly sewn,
There lived four wizards of renown,
Whose names are still well known:
Bold Gryffindor, from wild moor,
Fair Ravenclaw, from glen,
Sweet Hufflepuff, from valley broad,
Shrewd Slytherin, from fen.

-- HP and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 12

So we can deduce a few things:

  • Rowena Ravenclaw came from "glen", presumably a reference to the glens of Scotland. (This is backed up by the fact that in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Ravenclaw's portrait speaks with a Scottish accent.)

  • Salazar Slytherin came from "fen", which could well refer to the Fens, a region of eastern England.

  • Helga Hufflepuff came from a "valley", which is far too generic a description: unknown.

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