Architecture: On from Antiquity

Therefore your Halls, your ancient Colleges,

Your portals statued with old kings and queens . . .

Shall not avail you when the Day-beam sports

New-risen o'er awaken'd Albion . . .

—Tennyson on Cambridge

As the oldest universities in the English-speaking world, Oxford and Cambridge are architectural amalgams of virtually every style from 13th century Romanesque through Gothic and Tudor to Victorian. Somehow all the styles blend in a nobly ancient mix of ornate walls, curlicued towers, spires, domes and gables, archways, turrets, gargoyles and waterspouts. The atmosphere is that of a contemplative...

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