Founder's Building

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Coordinates: 51°25′29″N 00°34′00″W / 51.42472°N 0.56667°W / 51.42472; -0.56667

Founder's Building
General information
Architectural styleFrench Renaissance
Town or cityEgham
CountryUnited Kingdom
Construction started1874
ClientThomas Holloway
Design and construction
ArchitectWilliam Henry Crossland
The main gate of the college with the Founder's Building in the background

The Founder's Building is the original building of Royal Holloway College, University of London (RHUL), in Egham, Surrey, England. It is an example of Gothic Revival architecture in the United Kingdom. Today it is the dominant building on the campus.


The construction of the building began in 1874, and was completed in 1881. The building and the college were a £600,000 "gift to the nation" by the entrepreneur and philanthropist Thomas Holloway. It was designed by the architect William Henry Crossland, and inspired by the Château de Chambord in the Loire Valley, France.

The building was officially opened in 1886 by Queen Victoria, who allowed the use of "Royal" in the college's name by Royal mandate. A statue of Queen Victoria sits in the centre of the north quadrangle. The centre of the south quadrangle contains a statue of Thomas Holloway and his wife Jane. The marble statues were sculpted by Prince Victor of Hohenlohe-Langenburg (Count Gleichen).[1]

The Founder's Building houses the Picture Gallery, containing a collection of over 70 pieces of Victorian era art given to the college at the time of its founding by Thomas Holloway. The college's Main Lecture Theatre, non-denominational chapel, and one of two libraries on the RHUL campus are also housed within the building.

The north tower is known as the Clock Tower, the south as the Dragon Tower (due to its dragon like gargoyles), and the centre tower as the Lantern Tower, housing a lantern which is very occasionally lit.

Today, the offices of the Department of Politics and International Relations, the Department of Classics and some offices of the School of Management are housed in the building, while other academic departments of the college are located in more modern buildings on the college's campus. Many of the college's main administrative offices remain within the Founder's Building. It is also a Hall of Residence for the campus, with rooms for over 470 students. A bar within the building is named "Crosslands" in honour of its architect.

The original building plans as well as photographs at the time of completion are available for viewing in the Royal Holloway archives located in Founder's.

Filming location[edit]

Founder's Building South quad.

The building has been featured in several films and television programmes including:


  1. ^ Original features Times Higher Education. 5 February 2009
  2. ^ College website, accessed 6 August 2010

External links[edit]