My old unis 100 years ago

2 min read

Them pictures up top are of Royal Holloway, where I did my undergraduate studies, and King’s, where I did my masters. Both of these are 19th century institutions (1879 and 1829 respectively) so there’s no shortage of old photos about, but still it’s a nice surprise whenever they pop up.

Looking at the photo of King’s there, aside from the style of that car and the shop signs not a lot has changed since that was taken. The entrancee to that bit of the campus is still there under that arch, it’s still in the middle of the Strand of course so it’s still surrounded by traffic and shops and people going about their business, it generally looks at least recognisable if not much the same. One thing that definitely is still the same is the old Twinings tea store just down the road; it’s their first shop, opened around 1710, and accordingly has a tiny little museum if you can squeeze your way through to the back of the shop.

The picture of Royal Holloway on the other hand could have been taken yesterday as far as I can tell (well, maybe four years ago as that’s the last time I visited and it may have all changed since then, but I don’t think it has). The snow may have melted in the intervening century but that pond is still there, the surrounding plants and the foresty bit beyond, and of course the fantastic Founder’s Building there. I’m looking at it now trying ot figure out if one of them windows was my old room, but I was on the second floor and those windows look to be the third of fourth. Close enough.