HARRY Potter's stolen Ford Anglia has turned up in the grounds of a castle.
The turquoise car - seen in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - was stolen from the South West Film studios in St Agnes, Cornwall, last year.
Police were left baffled as to how the 1962 car, which has no engine, was stolen and they feared thieves would sell it on for scrap or on the black market.
But police, acting on a tip-off, found the car in the grounds of Carn Brea Castle, a 14th-century stone twin-towered fortress near Falmouth, Cornwall, on Wednesday night.
PC Tim Roberts, based in Redruth, received the tip-off and believes the thieves deliberately left it there as a joke. "It seems we have now located the Harry Potter car," he said. "We received an anonymous call from someone telling us its location, and it was found in the early evening in an empty car park at Carn Brea Castle.
"It seems to be in good order. I would guess whoever left it there did so with their tongue firmly in their cheek. The car had been there less than 24 hours and has now been towed away to a vehicle compound.
"No arrests have been made, and the car will probably go back to the insurance company."
The Ford Anglia, registration 7990 TD, is pictured on the front cover of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Its magical properties are triggered by a silver button on its dashboard and, as well as flying, it has a Tardis-like expanding interior.
The car had taken pride of place at the gates of South West Film Studios, but it vanished overnight in November last year. The company had recently gone into administration and the car was being stored under tarpaulin while a private buyer was sought. It is believed the thieves dumped the car after failing to sell it to Harry Potter fans on the black market.
Carn Brea Castle, where the car was found, bears a striking resemblance to the Hogwarts School of Wizardry and Witchcraft which features in the Harry Potter books.
Founded by the Bassett family and standing within the impressive ramparts of a massive Iron Age hillfort, it lies 11 miles north-west of Falmouth on the A39-A393. It now functions as a restaurant.
Forensic experts examining the car said vital clues to who stole it could lie in a length of rope found attached to the back. Gayle Manvell, a crime-scene technician with Devon and Cornwall Police, said the engineless car was probably towed to the castle and whoever dragged it there left a small part of the tow-rope tied to the bumper.
She says the rope could contain fingerprints or DNA.