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Have you ever wondered where JK Rowling came up with house teams, house points and the house cup? Well, throughout Britain and Commonwealth countries, pretty much every school has house teams, usually four, but depending on the size of the school it could be more and points are given and taken away throughout the school year for academics and sports. The house with the most points wins the house cup. We just don’t have the magical sorting hat – very clever!
There are usually ‘house captains’ or ‘house prefects’ and when I was at school each house met once a week (every Friday morning) before class to discuss house matters. So now you know!
Also, on a side note, OWL’s at Hogwarts means ORDINARY WIZARDING LEVELS (exams). In Britain, we too have OwL’s (Just take out the wizarding part). At age 16 there is an exam called ‘Ordinary Levels’ or ‘O Levels’. At age 18 there is an exam called ‘Advanced Levels’ or ‘A Levels’.
I grew up in Corby, Northamptonshire, and my school had four house teams that were based on stately homes and castles that surrounded the area.
Our house teams were:
Rockingham – Red
Deene – Green (This was my team)
Lyveden – Yellow
Oakley - Blue
ROCKINGHAM CASTLE was built by William the Conqueror. It was used as a Royal fortress for four hundred and fifty years, and since then it has been the home of the Watson family. The castle is set in a beautiful location with stunning views over five counties. The castle has some attractive furnished rooms which date from several different periods and is surrounded by twelve acres of superbly contrasting gardens. There are exhibitions which represent the castle’s fascinating history and an audio-visual display which depicts the "Castle under "Siege". There are also refreshments and meals available on site for visitors.
DEENE PARK is a Grade I listed house which has been occupied and developed by the Brudenell Family since 1514, offering a Pheasant and Partridge shoot in Northamptonshire, East Midlands. The most flamboyant member of the family to date was the 7th Earl of Cardigan, who led the charge of the Light Brigade at Balaklava. This private Northamptonshire Estate comprises of 3,000 acres of scenic rolling countryside interspersed with woodland, parkland and arable ground, all within the bounds of the ancient Rockingham Forest.
LYVEDEN NEW BIELD is a great opportunity to strip back the layers of a traditional country house. Lyveden is home to an unfinished garden lodge that lets you see the inner structure of what was intended to be a fully functioning country residence, but was never completed. Lyveden's audio guides take you through the history of this fascinating place. The guide relates the origins of the New Bield, how Sir Thomas Tresham’s dreams were never realised and the family’s infamous involvement in the Gunpowder Plot. Lyveden's gardens are amongst the oldest in the country. Ascend the spiral mounds, stroll the banks of the moat, visit the orchard and take in the beauty of one of the country's finest surviving examples of Elizabethan garden design.
GREAT OAKLEY HALL has been the De Capell Brooke's ancestral home for over five centuries. The Brookes' are perhaps the most ancient family in Northamptonshire still living in their ancestral home. In 1472 William Brooke purchased the manor (which was built in 1086) in the small village and sits in the same grounds as St. Michael’s Church. Much of Great Oakley has been in ownership of the Brooke Family since then. The present lord of the manor is Hugh de Capell Brooke, who lives with his family in Great Oakley Hall, which was extensively renovated in the 1960s.