Founder's Building

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Founder's Building
RoyalHolloway FrontEntrance.jpg
Founder's Building is located in Surrey
Founder's Building
General information
Architectural styleFrench Renaissance
Town or cityEgham
CountryUnited Kingdom
Coordinates51°25′29″N 00°34′00″W / 51.42472°N 0.56667°W / 51.42472; -0.56667Coordinates: 51°25′29″N 00°34′00″W / 51.42472°N 0.56667°W / 51.42472; -0.56667
Construction started1874
ClientThomas Holloway
Design and construction
ArchitectWilliam Henry Crossland
Listed Building – Grade I
Official nameRoyal Holloway College
Designated17 November 1986
Reference no.1028946

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 French-Renaissance-style architecture in the United Kingdom, having been modelled on French chateaus such as Château de Chambord.[1] 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).[2]

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. Founder's is home to one of the university's lecture theatres, the non-denominational chapel, and the reading room, which is open to students 24/7. 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.

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 550 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]

North quad

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


External links[edit]