JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series of novels, made her feelings about estate agents perfectly clear on Twitter yesterday in response to news that a pub she supposedly once frequented as a student had been sold for £4m.
News that the Old Fire House in Exeter had been sold by Devon-based agent Charles Darrow and that it was a pub Rowling once went to emerged in the local Devon press yesterday.
Devonlive.co.uk claimed it was the inspiration for the Leaky Cauldron in the Harry Potter series and that it had many famous drinkers over the years including Rowan Atkinson and former University of Exeter student Rowling.
After the story was drawn to Rowling’s attention, she tweeted:
If you want real fantasy, go to an estate agent. Never visited this pub in my life. https://t.co/vzZcIejJVH
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) January 17, 2018
She added: “Red Cow, Black Horse, Mill on the Exe, the Artillery Inn (now sadly gone), but never that one, I’m afraid.”
But Jon Clyne, a director at Charles Darrow, told EYE that it hadn’t referred to Rowling or Potter during the sale of the property, which was conducted confidentially.
“We offered a conversation with Devonlive.co.uk and if you look historically at Google there are rumours absolutely everywhere about her being associated with it.
“The pub categorically hasn’t been sold with any association with Harry Potter whatsoever. The pub was sold on the basis that it’s a quality freehold with high turnover and excellent net profits.
“It’s just the fact that that’s what gets picked up when you put ‘the Old Fire House Exeter’ into Google it appears absolutely everywhere that an idea for Harry Potter came from there.”