HARRY Potter spent the week in Lacock, but all visitors got to see were his security guards.

The village's famous abbey and its grounds have been selected by Warner Brothers as one of the locations for Hollywood's Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone the film version of JK Rowling's best-selling novels about the boy wizard.

After setting up last week, filming started in earnest. But stern signs made it clear to the public that the abbey and grounds were off limits, and guards in fluorescent jackets were on gate duty.

Even locals were given little hint about what was happening behind the security cordon. Church Road was closed off completely and an employee at a pub in the street said: "No-one has seen a thing.

"When they filmed Pride and Prejudice and The Mayor of Casterbridge, people were still allowed to walk down the street.

"But I suppose this is what happens when you have a big company like Warner Brothers with a big budget to spend on security."

Others have enjoyed the crowds of people who have been attracted to the village near Chippenham.

Chris Chappell, manager of the Red Lion Pub, said up to 50 people with links to the filming regularly lunched at his premises. He said: "We are very happy. It has been very good news for us."

Three huge marquees have been erected in the abbey grounds, and about 350 cast and crew are expected to spend the weekend and most of next week working there.

Studio bosses have appealed to celebrity spotters and Potter fans alike to stay away for the duration of filming.

Asked about the secrecy, Warner Brothers spokeswoman Vanessa Davies said: "Film-makers are trying to retain the magic and mystery of the film. They want children to enjoy it and do not want to spoil the surprise."

Young actor Daniel Radcliffe, who played David Copperfield in a BBC adaptation of the Dickens classic, beat heavy competition to land the starring role of Harry Potter.

The cast also includes Robbie Coltrane, John Cleese, Richard Harris, Dame Maggie Smith and Julie Walters.