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...