My question is who created the pensieve? It's obviously an ancient object. I've heard different origin stories about it. As in it was found buried underground and that is where Hogwarts was built. It belonged to the other headmasters before Dumbledore, so it's possibly as old as the school. Does anyone know the true Origins or who created it. I've also read that it goes as far back as the Perevell brothers, could one of them had made it? It's obviously old as described in the books as having ancient runes on it.

Chapter 30 H.P. Goblet of Fire

A shallow stone basin with odd carvings around the edge; runes and symbols that Harry did not recognise.

Was the one at Hogwarts unique or do other wizards have them too?

2 Answers 2


Allegedly it was found on the site of the school's construction.

Traditionally, a witch or wizard’s Pensieve, like their wand, is buried with them, as it is considered an intensely personal artefact; any thoughts or memories left inside the Pensieve are likewise interred with their owner, unless he or she has requested otherwise. The Hogwarts Pensieve, however, belongs not to any individual but to the school. It has been used by a long line of headmasters and headmistresses, who have also left behind their life experience in the form of memories. This forms an invaluable library of reference for the headmaster or headmistress of the day.

The Hogwarts Pensieve is made of ornately carved stone and is engraved with modified Saxon runes, which mark it as an artefact of immense antiquity that pre-dates the creation of the school. One (unsubstantiated) legend says that the founders discovered the Pensieve half-buried in the ground on the very spot where they decided to erect their school.

Pottermore - Pensieve by J.K. Rowling

In reality it almost certainly just carved by a(n unknown) pensive-maker or stonemason and either purchased from school funds when kitting out the headmaster's study or bequeathed by one of its occupants at some point after the school was founded.

As to its uniqueness, they're apparently rare due to their perceived hazard and the requirement that you be a powerful witch or wizard to use them effectively.

Pensieves are rare, because only the most advanced wizards ever use them, and because the majority of wizardkind is afraid of doing so.


Inevitably, those with things to hide, those ashamed of their pasts, those eager to keep hold of their secrets, or protective of their privacy, will be wary of an object like the Pensieve.

Pottermore - Pensieve by J.K. Rowling

  • 1
    So the official cannon answer is that the Hogwarts pensieve maker is unknown?
    – Flitoangel
    Mar 11, 2018 at 12:29
  • Bequest is the past participle, maybe you're getting confuse with bequeathed?
    – Edlothiad
    Mar 11, 2018 at 12:34
  • @Edlothiad - Actually both words are correct and are essentially identical synonyms, but I agree that 'bequeathed' is the more common usage
    – Valorum
    Mar 11, 2018 at 12:43
  • Never mind I found it on wiktionary, but it was very well hidden
    – Edlothiad
    Mar 11, 2018 at 12:43

The more I think about it the more I believe it likely that one of the Perevell brothers created the pensieve. If Dumbledore's theory is correct, then the brothers created the deathly hallows.

"I think it more likely that the Peverell brothers were simply gifted, dangerous wizards who succeeded in creating those powerful objects" Albus Dumbledore deathly hallows chapter Kings Cross.

So they were gifted wizards skilled in creating powerful objects. Since the original creater of the pensieve is unknown, I think it likely that one of the brothers created it. They were born well before Hogwarts was built, so it's very possible. JKR might make this information known in the future :)

  • Can you add a little more context to your quote? Mar 12, 2018 at 19:18
  • What I meant was that since they created magical objects such as the Elder Wand, invisibility cloak, and Resurrection Stone then they are more than capable of creating the pensieve.
    – Flitoangel
    Mar 16, 2018 at 4:11
  • Yes, but the quote you listed doesn't specify that he's talking about those things. Only "those powerful objects". Mar 16, 2018 at 19:16
  • That's pretty wild speculation with no canon base at all.
    – IloneSP
    Dec 11, 2020 at 9:06

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