"You all know, of course, that Hogwarts was founded over a thousand years ago - the precise date is uncertain - by the four greatest witches and wizards of the age. They built this castle together, far from prying Muggle eyes, for it was an age when magic was feared by common people, and witches and wizards suffered much persecution."
The Hogwarts Four, the greatest witches and wizards of that long-ago time Professor Binns referred to, cooperated with each other in the creation of their dream: to establish a school to educate the children of the Wizarding World. It was a special school for the magic arts, one which was shielded from the attention of muggles with sorcercy. In our "modern" age, those who don't know, or who aren't magical, will merely see old ruins and a sign warning of dangers there, rather than the castle known as Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Those who do know (including wizards, naturally, and also muggles who have children with magical abilities) come to learn that the four houses of Hogwarts have been named for the founders of the academy.
Slytherin and Gryffindor increasingly came into disagreement about their choice of students, and Slytherin eventually left the school in a great rage. He was reported to have left something behind, though, a secret chamber which only his heir could open by using Parseltongue. The reason for the chamber was that it contained something to rid Hogwarts of "unworthy" muggles.
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