Barrow Hall is the fourteenth founded college of the University of Aldergate.

Barrovians are a great lot. The gallows humor that is inextricably bound up with Barrow Hall's identity has a tendency to instill in its scholars a bit more perspective and humanity than you expect from your average Aldergatian. Not that they're any less obsessive - mad as bicycles the lot of them, and some of them carry things a bit past a joke. Everyone's pretty confident that the Anthropophagi just enjoy their little joke, but if you do attend one of their Dark Banquets it's best to stick to salad.

History Edit

The rapid growth of Aldergate's population in the early 1530s had already prompted the founding of Ratigan and Ashcraft, and provided the impetus to officially charter Vail as its own college. The birth of Barrow Hall as a distinct and separate entity resulted from the confluence of this need for expansion and the pettiest of University politics.

Per the strict ruling of the Lex Aldergatiensis, each duly chartered college is entitled to invite the same fixed number of scholars every year - regardless of whether or not they've anywhere to put them. The founding of Vail put this rule to the test. Having assumed the grounds of the St. Vail Independent Hospital for the Afflicted, the new college was twice the size of its fellows, and could accommodate - though in less than perfect comfort - far more residents. Unwilling to accord unique privileges to the upstart Vail, the University arrived at a decision that was subsequently described as showing "the wisdom of Solomon and the conviction of Abraham." By order of Regent House, Vail was split in half, and a call issued for founding scholars for the new college.

That call was not answered until eight months later. The bisection of the St. Vail's grounds had been equitable in terms of acreage, but while Vail College retained the administrative complex and professional buildings, the newly-created college inherited only the Confinement Ward, the Dissectory, and the hospital's extensive and poorly-organized burial grounds.

It was not possible to assemble an adequate body of volunteers was at last assembled to found the "Charnel College" until the pursers of the First Five colleges joined in a mutual pledge to remit additional funds far in excess of the usual charter grant to pay for decorpseifying the Barrow Hall grounds. That process may yet be incomplete; well into the 21st century, each new construction or excavation continues to turn up a new crop of human remains, which are honored with the uniquely Barrovian tradition of "Bonesong" and laid to rest in the college Ossuarium.

Architecture Edit

Barrow Hall is one of the more out-of-the-way colleges. You can't see it at all from the Riverwalk anymore since the completion of the Dynamic Texture wall, and it hasn't got a proper gatehouse - you've got to come in at the gate on Barrow Lane and go through a sombre little walled garden to get to the college proper.

The original hospital buildings were destroyed in the Vail Calamity in 1622. Most of the college complex is late-Tudor stone - either stately or dismal, depending on your point of view. The picture is of Montacute House in Somerset.