Harry Potter tour at the Ashmolean

harry potter

Image as: WA1898.18 Anonymous British, John Dee (1527 - 1608) Image © Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford

What does a real crystal ball look like? Why might you slip a love potion into Gillywater? Where does the exchange rate for Wizarding money come from? Did Elias Ashmole really believe that he could make the Philosopher’s Stone?

If you have ever wondered about the history behind the Hogwarts adventures, then this is the tour for you.  JK Rowling’s imagination was fired by the historical myths and magic and on this tour we will look at four objects in the Ashmolean that illuminate some of the real-world sources of her ideas. We will look at classical and Renaissance objects to explore some of the ways in which Harry Potter works its magic on the stories and material culture of the past

This tour will be led by Dr Beatrice Groves, Research Fellow and Lecturer in Renaissance literature at Trinity College, and author of Literary Allusion in Harry Potter.


Free. Booking is essential. 


Please register here: 

Tour 1: 5.30-6pm

Tour 2: 6.20-6.50pm

Tour 3: 7.20-7.50pm