19 things you didn’t know about Royal Holloway London

While you’ll spend most of your time at the SfEP conference attending seminars and workshops and getting together with colleagues, it’s always useful to learn a bit about the venue too, so we’ve put together a few interesting facts about Royal Holloway London. If nothing else, sharing some of this knowledge with another conference delegate could make a helpful conversation starter.

London Royal Holloway - the venue for the 25th SfEP annual conference 13-15 September 2014

London Royal Holloway – the venue for the 25th SfEP annual conference







  1. Royal Holloway College was founded by self-made millionaire Thomas Holloway, who made his fortune in patent medicines.
  2. It was opened on 30 June 1886 by Queen Victoria as an all-women college.
  3. Royal Holloway was admitted as a School of the University of London in 1900, when it was constituted as a teaching university.
  4. Male students were not admitted until 1945, when the doors opened to male postgraduate students.
  5. Royal Holloway College did not become fully co-educational until 1965.
  6. Royal Holloway merged with Bedford College in 1985 and the Royal Holloway Bedford New College was inaugurated by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 1986.
  7. The imposing Royal Holloway College Grade 1 Listed Founder’s Building was inspired by the sixteenth-century Château de Chambord in the Loire Valley, France.
  8. The Founder’s Building was designed by architect William Henry Crossland.
  9. Royal Holloway was used as the Olympic Village for Rowing in 2012.
  10. Alumni of Royal Holloway College (including Bedford College) include George Eliot (aka Mary Anne Evans), Professor David Bellamy, KT Tunstall and Lenny Henry.
  11. The Royal Holloway College campus is set in 135 acres of parkland in Egham, Surrey. Click here for a virtual tour of the campus.
  12. Royal Holloway was ranked 102nd in the 2013/14 Times Higher Education World University Rankings and 12th overall in the UK.
  13. The Founder’s Building is home to the Picture Gallery, which houses over 70 paintings from the High Victorian period in the Royal Holloway art collection. Notable artworks include William Powell Frith’s The Railway Station, John Everett Millais’ Princes in the Tower, and Edwin Long’s The Babylonian Marriage Market.
  14. Royal Holloway has over 9,000 students from more than 200 countries, and 1,525 members of staff.
  15. The Magna Carta was sealed by King John I just down the hill from Royal Holloway at Runnymede in June 1215.
  16. The North Quadrangle of the Founder’s Building contains a statue of Queen Victoria.
  17. The Founder’s Building was featured in the film Howard’s End.
  18. The Royal Holloway College library contains over half a million volumes and has 630 reader spaces.
  19. Royal Holloway has a renowned choir and is the only university that still maintains a tradition of daily sung morning services.

If you want to find out more about Royal Holloway College while at the SfEP conference, why not investigate the Heritage Open Day on Sunday 14 September?

Joanna Bowery

Joanna Bowery is the SfEP social media manager. As well as looking after the SfEP’s Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts and the SfEP blog, she is a freelance marketing and PR consultant operating as Cosmic Frog. Jo is an associate of the SfEP and a Chartered Marketer. She is active on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. In her spare time, Jo enjoys rugby (although she has retired from playing) and running.

Proofread by Jane Hammett, an advanced member of the SfEP.

The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of the SfEP.

1 thought on “19 things you didn’t know about Royal Holloway London

  1. Naomi Laredo

    Judith Butcher, author of Copy-editing and Honorary President of the SfEP, is an alumna too: she studied at Bedford College.

    Thanks for the interesting facts and figures, Joanna.


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