Ten things you didn’t know about Royal Holloway

A lot of our brides, grooms and guests aren’t familiar with our rich history, but are always interested to find out more. We’ve put together a few interesting facts about Royal Holloway so that you’ll be able to share some of this knowledge with your wedding guests.

  1. Royal Holloway was founded by self-made millionaire Thomas Holloway, as a “£600,000 gift to the nation”. Holloway made his fortune in patent medicines, selling Holloway’s pills and ointments. His statue, alongside his wife Jane, stands today in the centre of the south quadrangle and can be admired by all of your wedding guests if you choose an outdoor drinks reception as part of your wedding package.
  2. Jane Holloway suggested building a college for women’s education as a means to spending some of her husband’s huge fortune. The first 28 women began their studies at Royal Holloway in 1887.
  3. The imposing Grade 1 Listed Founder’s Building, with its turrets, towers and 700 chimneys, was inspired by the sixteenth-century Château de Chambord in the Loire Valley, France. The first brick was laid in 1879 by George Martin Holloway, Thomas Holloway’s brother-in-law.
  4. The Founder’s Building was designed by architect William Henry Crossland, after which our Crossland bar, which leads out into the south quadrangle, is named. Crosslands is most often used by our brides and grooms as an evening wedding reception venue, accommodating up to 120 guests.
  5. The grand Victorian dining hall has been in constant use since 1886. Today brides and grooms enjoy the grand and spectacular venue for their civil ceremony, wedding breakfast or evening party (or all three!) for up to 180 guests.
  6. The first wedding at Royal Holloway was held in the early 1970s in the beautiful non-denominational chapel.
  7. One of the Founder’s Building’s most beautiful and unusual wedding reception spaces is the Picture Gallery, housing 77 paintings from the Victorian period. A truly unique and special place in which to make your wedding vows.
  8. The Royal Holloway campus is set in 135 acres of parkland in Egham, Surrey and has an arboretum, lake and numerous rose beds, providing plenty of opportunities for romantic wedding photographs.
  9. Every year Royal Holloway enhances its beautiful chapel with the funds generated from wedding ceremonies. Weddings in 2015 were used to purchase the beautiful gold cloth that covers the alter.
  10. The Founder’s Building has featured in many films and TV shows including Basic Instinct, The Avenger’s: Age of Altron, Downton Abbey, Antiques Roadshow and   Howard’s End as well as in numerous wedding photograph albums!


© Juliet Lemon Photography