The University of London is a collegiate university, and this is Royal Holloway, one of the colleges (no relation to Holloway, the famous women’s prison). The college was founded in 1979 by Thomas Holloway, who made his fortune—several million pounds sterling of it—in patent medicines. He was looking for a philanthropic enterprise, and the college, which was originally for women only, was the suggestion of his wife Jane. Royal Hollway merged with the University of London’s Bedford College (also originally a women’s institution) in 1985, 20 years after both colleges began to admit men.
The architecture was inspired by the sixteenth century Chateau of Chambord in the Loire Valley, and the effect of Renaissance blended with Victoriana is completely over-the-top, but to my surprise, I found myself liking it for its sheer abandon and audacity.