A CHARITY set up by JK Rowling may have bought the rural Chepstow cottage the author once lived in.

Miss Rowling, 47, lived at the Grade Two-listed Church Cottage at Tutshill, near the Wales-England border, from the ages of nine to 18.

The detached stone cottage is thought to have provided some of the inspiration behind the Harry Potter series of books – with a trapdoor in the dining room leading to a small cellar, a dusty, dingy cupboard under the stairs and Hogwarts-like architecture.

The Rowling family moved out of the house in 1995, a couple of years before the first Harry Potter book, The Philosopher’s Stone, was released.

It was then sold again on August 24 last year for £399,950, with the buyer paying cash and no mortgage involved.

Land Registry data shows the current owner is a company called Caernarfon Lettings Limited, but who is involved in this organisation is a mystery to local people, who believe Ms Rowling’s charity Volant Charitable Trust may be behind the purchase.

This suggestion is given substantial weight by the fact that the Land Registry lists Edinburgh-based Turcan Connell Solicitors as looking after the interests of Caernarfon Lettings Limited.

Turcan Connell is not only based in Ms Rowling’s home city, but is also listed on the European Union trademark database as owning the trademark of the Volant Charitable Trust. This charity was set up by Ms Rowling in July 2009 and its directors meet each year to allocate funds to good causes.

The main areas it provides cash to is multiple sclerosis research. Ms Rowling’s mother, Anne, died from the illness after a long battle.

A spokesman for the Volant Charitable Trust would not say whether or not it had been involved in the purchase.