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Royal Holloway, Surrey, UK

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Royal Holloway is a college of the University of London. It has about 5500 students, most of whom are from the Home Counties1.

The college is situated in Englefield Green in Surrey, right on the edge of Windsor Great Park - which makes for an awful lot of trees.

Having been a women's college, there are many more female than male students (the ratio is usually between 55:45 and 70:30). The largest proportion of students like designer clothes, Abba and Steps2, but the campus is still a friendly place to be. There is a large number of foreign students which is definitely one of its plus points.

The administration of Royal Holloway would like everybody to believe that the best part of the college is Founder's building. Founder's is indeed impressive, but it is also completely illogical. It takes most students a minimum of three months to be able to find anything in the building, mainly because only half of the building has a ground floor. The other half begins on the first floor.

The other reason why Founder's is so heavily promoted by the college is to draw attention away from the New Halls development. This consists of three halls of residence built in the sixties, modelled on Swedish prison designs: the architects seemed to think that grey breeze blocks were the height of fashion.

Founder's also has a history. It was built by Thomas Holloway in the nineteenth century as a gift to the nation3. What is rarely mentioned is that Holloway was trying to gain a knighthood, but had been in debtor's prison and felt that these "gifts" would cover up his previous misdemeanours.

There are many rumours about hauntings in the building, including Thomas Holloway's ghostly reincarnation as a black cat, and a statue which moves around the Quadrangle of its own volition.

The building also houses a collection of Victorian art, including the Princes in the Tower and a nice painting of Polar Bears eating someone, which they cover up during exams because it's allegedly too depressing...

1For those of you outside the UK, they're the area just around London.2If you don't know about the band Steps, it's probably best if it stays that way.3Along with a Sanatorium of equal splendour in Virginia Water.

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