Harry Potter Names came from Greyfriers Graveyard.

I’ve always been a big fan of the Harry Potter books so was interested to hear that some of the character names came from Greyfriers Graveyard in Edinburgh.  The room is which JK Rowling sat to write Harry Potter overlooks Greyfriers graveyard,  and in this graveyard are the graves of Tom Riddle and Mcgonagal.

The evil Voldermort’s name used to be Tom Riddle.  The real Thomas Riddle died in 1806 and only shares a name in common with Voldermort.

Tom Riddle

Tom Riddle


Grave of Thomas Riddle












Minerva McGonagal is the head of Griffindor House and teaches transformation to the young witches and wizards of Hogworts. Her name comes from William McGonagal, a poet who holds the title of The Worst Poet in The English Language. I think that near his gave is a grave with the name Minerva on it. One of William McGonagal ditties goes:

The Great Cow Disaster

Upon yonder hill there stands a coo

I’ve just had a look

It’s no there noo!

I wonder if it is also relevant that William transforms as Menerva transforms objects, like herself into a cat.

I wonder where some of the other character names come from?

Minerva McGonagal

Minerva McGonagal 

Grave of William Mcgonagall

Grave of William Mcgonagall


About Amanda Moffet

I run www.scotclans.com with Rodger Moffet. Live in Edinburgh and love travelling around Scotland gathering stories.

View all posts by Amanda Moffet →

Related Posts

One thought on “Harry Potter Names came from Greyfriers Graveyard.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *