Queensmeade College is the eighth founded college of the University of Aldergate.
Meades have their own thing going on. Whatever else they may get up to, chances are they've also written a book or launched a start-up or invented a new sort of pen or something. This can create the sort of awkward situations that lead to cabinet minsters or Chief Financial Officers talking excitedly about the self-produced single they've just dropped.
Queensmeade is the twin of Ockham College, younger by the time it took Regent House to read its charter and say "aye" a second time. The character of the two institutions, however, could hardly be more different.
There's an old cartoon from the Daily Bystander that depicts Ockham as a brooding, long-haired aesthete mourning a sheaf of papers on which a grinning, wellie-wearing Queensmeade has trodden. That's not quite fair; the Wolf and Nobel laureates produced by the Queensmeade School of Agricultural Science are hardly your typical horny-handed sons of the soil. The college does, however, still embrace its roots - both in its blazon of arms (a quill flanked by wheat stalks with entwined stems), and in what remains of its celebrated Meade.
The unusual evolution of the Queensmeade complex was largely driven by the college's reluctance to encroach on the Meade - a plot of cultivated land within the bailey that for centuries played an important role in the experimental research of Queensmeade scholars. This restricted building footprint forced the growing college to expand vertically; it has been called “Troy at Aldergate,” a mass of historical accretions built one on top of another, steel and glass rising from Norman stone.
Being the college most visible from the Aldergate Road, the jumbled towers and turrets of Queensmeade are an iconic image associated with the University - that's the one you see on the t-shirts. It likes to be referred to as "the Noble Pile." It actually gets referred to as "the Tumor."
The picture is of the Abbey of Saint-Étienne. Imagine the different bits were added centuries apart, with different materials and in different styles, and you've got a pretty good impression of the Tumor.