Harry Potter Wiki
Harry Potter Wiki

"It stood on a hill overlooking the village, some of its windows boarded, tiles missing from its roof, and ivy spreading unchecked over its face. Once a fine-looking manor, and easily the largest and grandest building for miles around, the Riddle House was now damp, derelict, and unoccupied."
— Description of the manor house[src]

The Riddle House was a manor house in Little Hangleton that was home to Thomas, Mary, and Tom Riddle Senior (Lord Voldemort's paternal family). Their mansion was perched atop a hill overlooking the village.[1] Tom Riddle (Lord Voldemort) murdered his grandparents and father in the Riddle House in 1943.[2]


Early history[]

"Across the valley, set on the opposite hillside, was a handsome manor house surrounded by a wide expanse of velvety green lawn"
Harry Potter seeing the Riddle House in the Pensieve[src]

The Riddles were a wealthy Muggle family who owned over half the valley where Little Hangleton lay. They were known to be haughty and pretentious snobs who were widely disliked by the other villagers,[1] though they engaged with them enough to gossip about the Gaunts, who lived in a rundown shack just outside the village.[3]

Gaunt riddle

Merope Gaunt and Tom Riddle Senior

Tom Riddle Snr used to pass by the Gaunt Shack on his horse, sometimes with his companion Cecilia, and was watched by an infatuated Merope Gaunt. When her brother Morfin discovered this, he hexed Riddle with hives. After Morfin and Marvolo Gaunt were imprisoned in Azkaban, Merope made a romantic and magical play for Riddle by using a Love Potion to obtain his affection. Their marriage caused great scandal in Little Hangleton, and they left for London. Once the effects of the potion wore off on him, Tom soon returned to the Riddle House, however, having abandoned his wife and unborn child, Tom Marvolo Riddle. He claimed he had been "taken in" by Merope, and lived in the house with his parents for roughly sixteen more years.[3]

The Riddle murders[]


"Voldemort Stupefied his uncle, took his wand, and proceeded across the valley to 'the big house over the way.' There he murdered the Muggle man who had abandoned his witch mother, and, for good measure, his Muggle grandparents, thus obliterating the last of the unworthy Riddle line and revenging himself upon the father who never wanted him."
— Description of the Riddle murders[src]
HBP chapter 17 BW

Morfin Gaunt and Tom Riddle's first and last meeting

In the summer of 1943, sixteen-year-old Tom Marvolo Riddle, whose mother had died shortly after giving birth, came to Little Hangleton in search of his family. Riddle visited the Gaunt Shack and found his maternal uncle, Morfin Gaunt, living in deplorable conditions. Morfin immediately mistook Riddle for his father, Tom Riddle Snr, saying that he looked very much like "that Muggle that married my sister".[2]

Upon learning of Riddle Snr's actions toward his mother and himself, Riddle stunned his uncle, took his wand, and proceeded to "the big house over the way" that Morfin had told him about to confront his father with murder in his heart. Frank Bryce, the gardener of the Riddle House, was the only witness to seeing Riddle climbing up the hill.[1] He entered, using a simple Unlocking Charm to open the door.[2]

Once inside, Riddle found his father and his grandparents in their drawing room, and murdered all three with the Killing Curse. It is unknown if any words were exchanged between them, although it seems likely. The Riddles were found with terrified looks frozen on their faces,[1] and Riddle later informed Harry Potter in the Chamber of Secrets that his father had left his mother because he had found out that she was in fact a witch,[4] implying that they discussed these matters before Riddle murdered his paternal family members. Their bodies were later discovered by a maid who walked into the room, thus alerting the entire town.[1]

Framing of Morfin Gaunt[]

"So the Ministry called upon Morfin. They did not need to question him, to use Veritaserum or Legilimency. He admitted to the murder on the spot, giving details only the murderer could know. He was proud, he said, to have killed the Muggles, had been awaiting his chance all these years. He handed over his wand, which was proved at once to have been used to kill the Riddles. And he permitted himself to be led off to Azkaban without a fight."
— Morfin wrongfully imprisoned for the Murder of the Riddle family[src]
Morfin Gaunt in Azkaban

Morfin Gaunt imprisoned in Azkaban

The gardener of the house, Frank Bryce, was wrongly and maliciously accused of the Riddle murders by the Muggle authorities, since the door had not been forced open and he was the only one with a key. The police could determine neither the cause of death (as the Killing Curse causes no bodily injury and leaves no trace) nor Bryce's motive though, and Bryce was released.[1] The Ministry of Magic, however, realised immediately that it was a wizard's murder and immediately suspected Morfin Gaunt, who had previously been imprisoned for using dark magic against Muggles, including Tom Riddle Snr. Morfin testified proudly that he had killed the Riddles and had been awaiting his chance for some time, and his wand was found to have been the murder weapon. He was given a life sentence in Azkaban.[2]

In reality, his nephew had modified Morfin's memory so that he would confess to the crime and there would be no further investigation into the matter, which was arguably a risky move as suspects in serious crimes are investigated for the likelihood of being duped through Memory Charms. A combination of sloppy Wizard police work and Morfin's criminal record led the Ministry to believe the confession was sufficient. Riddle escaped Little Hangleton with Marvolo Gaunt's Ring and without suspicion. Albus Dumbledore would later discover the truth, but it was too late for Morfin, who died in Azkaban prison.[2]


"Meanwhile, in the village of Little Hangleton, a maid was running along the High Street, screaming that there were three bodies lying in the drawing room of the big house: Tom Riddle Senior and his mother and father."
— After a maid finds the bodies of the Riddle family[src]
Frank Bryce investigating the Riddle house

The Riddle House abandoned and in disrepair

Over the years, the house fell into great disrepair, and few people wanted to actually live in the house due to its dark history. Frank Bryce was kept on by the house's owners to do the gardening and to tend the grounds of the vast estate, and Bryce continued to live on the grounds for over fifty years. Bryce kept the external grounds in fine condition, although the interior of the house wanted fixing. Frank Bryce rarely went inside the manor as he was not qualified to do home repairs. Bryce also dealt with constant problems from undisciplined Muggle children, who would ride bicycles on the property without permission in order to mock the "strange old man" and ruin the lawn work Bryce had exerted himself to care for. Although most boys and girls in Little Hangleton gave their word to their parents to stay away from the manor, a few would actually venture inside the Riddle House, either out of curiosity or a test of bravado.[1]

After the Riddles' demise, two unidentified Muggle families came to live in the manor, though both left shortly after their respective stays. By 1994, the house was owned by a very wealthy man, officially for "tax reasons", although no one in Little Hangleton knew what the real reasons were. Still, like many before him, he never showed any inclination to physically occupy the house.[1]

Use by Lord Voldemort[]

Wormtail: "My Lord, may I ask how long are we going to stay here?"
Voldemort: "A week. Perhaps longer. This place is moderately comfortable, and the plan cannot proceed yet. It would be foolish to act before the Quidditch World Cup is over."
— Lord Voldemort and Wormtail in the Riddle House, discussing their plans[src]
Barty Crouch at Riddle House

Lord Voldemort uses the house as a hideout before being reborn, in 1994

In August of 1994, Lord Voldemort returned to the house with his servant, Peter Pettigrew, and decided to use it as his base of operations during the Triwizard Tournament. Frank Bryce saw a light coming from within the house late one night. Thinking it was children breaking into the house to set it on fire, Bryce took his keys and travelled up the hill to the Riddle House. Upon entering and climbing to its second level, he saw, to his surprise, that the fire was lit safely in the grate, and he overheard Voldemort's conspiracy. He had no way of knowing that on the other side of the wall sat the true murderer of the Riddle family and the man responsible for all distrusting him in the village of Little Hangleton, nor that this was the "dark-haired boy" he himself had seen climbing toward the Riddle House that terrible day over half a century ago.[1]

Frank Bryce murder

Frank Bryce being murdered with the Killing Curse

Bryce was soon discovered by Nagini and subsequently was "invited" into the room by Peter Pettigrew on the orders of Lord Voldemort. After a short conversation, Bryce demanded that Voldemort turn around from the fireplace and face him "like a man," to which Voldemort replied that he was "much more than a man" and agreed to turn around, requesting Pettigrew to turn the chair he was sitting in around to face Bryce. When this was done, Bryce let out a horrified scream when he saw Voldemort's sickly, rudimentary body, and his scream continued even after Voldemort raised his wand and used the Killing Curse.[1]

Upon going to the Crouch family household to set Bartemius Crouch Junior free from his father's Imperius Curse while in turn subjugating the latter, Voldemort then returned to the Riddle House to bide his time for the plan to proceed. When Pettigrew neglected his duty and allowed Crouch Snr to escape, Voldemort sent Crouch Jnr a message via a hawk to stop his father at all cost. Upon success, Junior sent a message back to the Riddle House to report to Voldemort, who used the Cruciatus Curse to torture Pettigrew as punishment for this near-ruination of their plan.[5]

In June of 1995, Voldemort pointed the house out to Harry Potter, whom he had trapped in the Little Hangleton graveyard, saying that his father and his family had once lived in "that house on the hill."[6] After Harry escaped their duel and returned to Hogwarts, Voldemort ceased using the decaying estate as a hideout and subsequently left it. While the fate of the Riddle House was left unknown, Voldemort later made Malfoy Manor his new headquarters.

Description and layout[]

"He let himself into the cavernous kitchen. Frank had not entered it for many years; nevertheless, although it was very dark, he remembered where the hall was, and he groped his way towards it, his nostrils full of the smell of decay, ears pricked for any sound of footsteps or voices from overhead. He reached the hall, which was a little lighter owing to the large mullioned windows on either side of the front door, and started to climb the stairs, blessing the dust that lay thick upon the stone, because it muffled the sound of his feet and stick."
— Frank Bryce's description as he entered the Riddle House[src]


Riddle House exterior

The Riddle House was a fine manor, built onto a hill that gave an overlooking view of the village. After the Riddles were all murdered, the Riddle House turned into disrepair. Many of the tiles were missing, the grounds were overgrown, and many of the windows were boarded up.[1]


PDVD 026

After the murder of the Riddles, the manor was dark, unused and undisturbed, leading to a build-up of thick dust layer and smell of decay. The back door, which connected to the gardens, led to the massive kitchen that opened up to the foyer. When Frank Bryce entered the house, thinking that there were intruders, he went up the stone steps and turned to the corridor, and there would be a door at the end of the passageway, which would be the drawing room. Despite the home being greatly in need of renovation, it was described as "moderately comfortable" by Lord Voldemort during his stay. The Riddle House was described as creepy by the villagers of Little Hangleton. The main reason the House was considered creepy was because it remained deserted for 51 years.[1]

The drawing room[]

The drawing room of the Riddle House was the infamous room in which a maid found all three Riddles dead. When Voldemort was taken inside the house, undetected by Muggles or wizards, he stayed inside the drawing room. When Frank entered the house, the drawing room contained a fireplace, a rug and the armchair that Voldemort sat upon. It was also where Frank met his demise at the hands of the same murderer.[1]

Behind the scenes[]

  • In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the drawing room is said to contain a rug with a lit fireplace and Voldemort's armchair. However, the appearance is different in the film adaptation, as a fireplace is not seen. Also, the room seems to be lit, and a broken lamp is seen on the floor.
  • In the book, Bryce was "invited" into the drawing room by Pettigrew per Voldemort's orders before being killed inside. In the film adaptation, Pettigrew stood aside from the doorway as Voldemort fired the Killing Curse at Bryce, who was still standing in the hallway eavesdropping.
  • It is possible that the Riddle House continued to be owned by the wealthy man after Voldemort's use.
  • Despite having seen the house during the night of Voldemort's regeneration, Harry did not recognise it at first when he saw it in the Pensieve.


Notes and references[]

The Harry Potter Wiki has 22 images related to Riddle House.
  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 1 (The Riddle House)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 17 (A Sluggish Memory)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 10 (The House of Gaunt)
  4. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 16 (The Chamber of Secrets)
  5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 35 (Veritaserum)
  6. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 33 (The Death Eaters)
Death Eaters
Dark Mark Pottermore
Leader: Lord Voldemort
Death Eaters

Avery II · Alecto Carrow · Amycus Carrow · Crabbe · Bartemius Crouch Junior † · Antonin Dolohov · Gibbon † · Goyle · Gareth Greengrass's brother · Jugson · Barnaby Lee's father · Barnaby Lee's mother · Bellatrix Lestrange † · Rabastan Lestrange · Rodolphus Lestrange · Walden Macnair · Mulciber I · Mulciber II · Nott · Pyrites (possibly) · Augustus Rookwood · Rosier · Evan Rosier † · Thorfinn Rowle · Selwyn · Merula Snyde's father · Merula Snyde's mother · Travers · Mason Tremblay (possibly) · Wilkes † · Corban Yaxley · Unidentified Death Eaters

Death Eater defectors

Regulus Black † · Igor Karkaroff † · Draco Malfoy · Lucius Malfoy · Peter Pettigrew † · Severus Snape

Death Eater allies

Borgin · Vincent Crabbe · John Dawlish · Delphini · Golgomath · Gregory Goyle · Fenrir Greyback · Mafalda Hopkirk · Narcissa Malfoy (defected) · Ismelda Murk (unofficially, supposedly) · Nagini · Mr Padgett · Mrs Padgett · Pansy Parkinson · Quirinus Quirrell · Albert Runcorn · Stanley Shunpike (Imperiused) · Scabior · Serpent of Slytherin · Pius Thicknesse (Imperiused) · Yubert Thorne · Dolores Umbridge

Other affiliations

British Ministry of Magic (under Voldemort's control) · Daily Prophet (under Voldemort's control) · Dementors · Draco Malfoy's gang · Kreacher (formerly) · Tom Riddle's gang · Gang of Slytherins · Giants (Golgomath's control) · Inferi · Charmed skeletons · Muggle-Born Registration Commission · Theodore Nott (possibly) · Snatchers · Werewolf army · The Unforgivable

Death Eater establishments

Abandoned nuclear power plant · Borgin and Burkes · British Ministry of Magic Headquarters (under Voldemort's control) · The Cave · Chamber of Secrets · Forbidden Forest · Gaunt Shack · Lee family house · Lestrange Vault · Little Hangleton graveyard · Malfoy Manor · Misty Dell · Riddle House · Snatcher Camp · Spinner's End (Severus Snape's house) · The Abandoned Substation · The Ruins · The Quarry

Locations in London
Diagon Alley (18a · 59 · 92 · 93 · 94 · 129b · 275) · Knockturn Alley (13B) · London · Elephant and Castle · Finsbury Park · Green Lanes · Islington · Grimmauld Place (11 · 12 · 13) · King's Cross Station · Millennium Bridge · Museum of Quidditch · Paddington Station (Hamburger restaurant) · Post Office tower · Private Hospital · Pudding Lane (Bakery) · Shaftesbury Avenue · Tottenham Court Road · Luchino Caffe · Vauxhall Road · Winstanley's Bookstore & Stationers · Wool's Orphanage · Westminster · 10 Downing Street · Charing Cross Road · Angus Steak House · Leicester Square Station · Leaky Cauldron · Sytner
West Country
West Country · Bristol · Cornwall · Bodmin Moor · Falmouth · Tinworth · Shell Cottage · Devon · Chudley · Exmoor · Ilfracombe · Ottery St Catchpole (The Burrow · Lovegood House · Stoatshead Hill) · Topsham · Dorset · Millburn · Lanes End (17) · Wimbourne · Cotswolds · Forest of Dean (Forest of Dean ruins · Misty Dell) · Woodcroft · Painswick · Stinchcombe · Godric's Hollow (Bathilda Bagshot's · Church Lane · Graveyard · St Jerome's Church · Potter cottage) · Somerset · Bath · Modesty Rabnott Snidget Reservation
Yorkshire · Barnsley · Doncaster · Great Hangleton · Ilkley · Ilkley Moor · Little Hangleton (Gaunt Shack · Graveyard · Riddle House · Frank Bryce's cottage · The Hanged Man) · Upper Flagley · Mould-on-the-Wold
Other locations
Appleby · Avalon · Barnton · Dunstable · Eton · Maidenhead · Birmingham · Brockdale Bridge · Brookshire · Crowford · North Street (32a) · Budleigh Babberton · Chipping Clodbury · Clapham · Laburnum Gardens · 2 Laburnum Gardens · Cokeworth (Spinner's End · Railview Hotel) · Hampshire · Little Dropping · New Forest · Portsmouth · Herefordshire · Hertfordshire · Cuffley · The Cave · Hut-on-the-Rock · The Sea · Ilkley · Isle of Wight · Kent · Dover · Lancashire · Blackpool · Blackpool pier · Liverpool · River Mersey · Manchester · Didsbury · Norfolk · Cromer · Norfolk · Kettering · Nottinghamshire · Nottingham · Oxfordshire · Cotswolds · Nettlebed · Surrey (Bakery in Surrey) · Chertsey (Grunnings) · Little Whinging (Fair · Magnolia Crescent (2 · Road) · Privet Drive (4 · 7) · Wisteria Walk (6)) · Wolverhampton · Staines · Zoo · Tutshill · Upper Barnton · Wiltshire (Malfoy Manor) · Worcestershire · Herbe Garden · River Wye · Bedfordshire (Potton (Potton wood))