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We all know Diagon Alley - hidden section in London dedicated to Magical Shops and for Magical People. But when was it created? According to the Google machine, London was formed in 50 AD. Ollivanders was established in 382 BC, meaning it was formed before London.

Is it possible that Diagon Alley was there from the start, and Muggle Britain formed around it (in Magical History)? Or is it established in the HP universe when Diagon Alley was formed?

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    It seems likely that Ollivander's may not always have been in Diagon Alley. – Adamant Jun 10 '16 at 9:51
  • @Obie2.0 I can definitely agree that this may not be the case. It's just evidence of Wizarding shops / services being available before modern-day London. – Guy Shapter Jun 10 '16 at 9:53
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    ... or evidence of JKR's inability to create a mathematically consistent universe. – Rand al'Thor Jun 10 '16 at 10:04
  • I always thought Diagon Alley was related to Terry Pratchett's magic shops that aren't there the next time you go back, just extended somewhat to become a whole shopping precinct! – NiceOrc Jun 13 '16 at 5:05
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The early 1500s.

From Pottermore's article on the Leaky Cauldron (thanks to @Skooba for finding this!):

The Leaky Cauldron was there long before Charing Cross Road was even planned; its true address is number one, Diagon Alley, and it is believed to have been built some time in the early 1500s, along with the rest of the wizarding street.


Previous answer (based on less canonical information):

According to the third W.O.M.B.A.T. (Wizards' Ordinary Magic and Basic Aptitude Test), it's possible (though not confirmed, this being one item in a multiple choice test) that:

The oldest building in Diagon Alley is Gringotts Bank; the other shops grew up around it.

According to the Harry Potter Wikia and other unreliable sources, Gringotts was established in 1474 by a goblin called Gringott. This would set the formation of Diagon Alley at 1474.

Unfortunately, all of the above is based on dodgy and unreliable information. The best I've found canonically is an upper bound of the early 1500s. Daisy Dodderidge (1467-1555) built the Leaky Cauldron as a gateway to Diagon Alley, so the street must have existed by that time.

  • for better canon check out pottermore.com/writing-by-jk-rowling/the-leaky-cauldron. you are correct with the "around 1500" the Cauldron was "believed to have been built some time in the early 1500s, along with the rest of the wizarding street." It didn't become the "gateway" until the Statute of Secrecy a bit later. – Skooba Jun 10 '16 at 13:02
  • @Skooba Thank you, sir! Brilliant find, and completely solves this question. – Rand al'Thor Jun 10 '16 at 19:43

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