CHEPSTOW Books held a spellbinding event at St Pierre Hotel last Sunday (25th June) to mark 20 years since ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ was first published.

Events were held across the world to mark the occasion, but the Chepstow event was particularly special as author JK Rowling’s childhood home was in Tutshill.

JK Rowling moved to Tutshill at the age of nine, and later attended Wyedean School. Whilst a student, JK Rowling was taught chemistry by former Wyedean School Head of Science John Nettleship, by whom she is said to have been inspired for the character of Professor Snape, portrayed by Alan Rickman in the films..

JK Rowling is even said to have been inspired to create the Forbidden Forest from walks in the Forest of Dean, and she named one of the 13 fictional teams in the ‘British and Irish Quidditch League’ the ‘Tutshill Tornados’.

Matt Taylor from Chepstow Books said: “Around 250 people of all ages attended this special event. Both fans that have grown up alongside the books and new fans, and many travelled from far and wide to attend.

“The local link was certainly interesting, especially at St Pierre, which lends itself to the books. The big tree in the grounds could easily be the Whomping Willow.”

The Chepstow Books event featured Fleurble Laffalot (Fleur Alexander), who helped the audience explore the four houses of Hogwarts and the world of the Harry Potter books.

The audience took part in some of the key elements of life at Hogwarts, including the sorting ceremony, Quidditch and potion class.