Bridge House is the eighteenth founded college of the University of Aldergate.
Bridgers are good people. Sometimes obnoxiously so. And the worst of it is that they tend to be genuinely humble, so you can’t even fault them for being insufferable. A Bridger spends their weekends teaching sustainable cancer to recycled children, and would be delighted for you to join them, but understands that you’re busy. Fairly makes you want to spit.
The last of the colleges founded during the Wildfire Era of Aldergate's growth, Bridge House has always embodied a distinctive facet of the Aldergatian character. Whereas Guildford College was founded in angry backlash against the murder of Grey and Guildford, the creation of Bridge House reflected a more constructive sort of grieving.
Bridge House never embodied the overt defiance towards civil authority seen in other coronation colleges. In fact, the founding scholars took the exceptional step of requesting frequent audiences with Queen Liz – and in so doing may have fundamentally altered the University’s historical trajectory.
At a time when backroom diplomacy was at its most frenzied, the public and forthright efforts of the first Bridgers to lobby the Crown on matters of social and penal reform met with scorn and incredulity, in both Westminster and Regent House. However, initial mocking – the “Kinde Pilgrims of Aldergayte” are reported to have endured grotesque acts of bullying in the young Gloriana’s court – eventually gave way to a sort of tolerant affection. Their success in influencing Crown policy is difficult to assess, but their presence is assumed to have played a key role in creating the symbiotic relationship with Imperial Britain that characterized the next few hundred years of Aldergatian history.
The significance of the College as a passive political force remains a subject of interest and study to this day. This has forged an unusual relationship of curiosity and antagonism between Bridge House and Garton and Perse, which can be characterized by remarks attributed to a former G&P Head: “I should like to dissect them like a frog in a laboratory. I should like to either be certain how they function, or be certain that they don’t.”
Bridge House continues in its role as a force of public conscience to this day. The Oxley School of Humane Criminology at Bridge House is one of the oldest and most respected policy shops of its type, and Dr. Ito is Rector of the School of Waste Reclamation.
The college complex is much as it was when first built, humble in a way rarely seen at Aldergate. The half-timbered Tudor façade is reminiscent of prison bars.
One noteworthy feature is the Oxley Building, which (besides housing the OSHC) functions as an international law library and forum for debates and moot courts. Built in the early 1900s, it is a near-facsimile of the Old Bailey – hence the picture.