NEW COLLEGE, St. John's Wood, was commenced building in 1850, when the first stone was laid, May 11, by the Rev. Dr. John Pye Smith, known as a divine, and as a man of science from his work on Scripture and Geology. Time building was completed in 1851, and opened October 8. It has been erected by the Independent Dissenters for the education of their ministers, and is founded on the union of Homerton Old College and Coward and Highbury Colleges. The classes are divided into two faculties, Arts and Theology; the former open to lay students, and having chairs of Latin and Greece, mathematics, moral and mental philosophy, and natural history. The building, of Bath stone, designed by Emmett, in the Tudor (Henry VII.) style, is situated about a mile and a half north of Regent's-park, between the Finchley-road and Bellsize-lane. The frontage is 270 feet, having a central tower 80 feet high. The interior dressings are of Coon stone, and the fittings of oak; some of time ceilings are of wrought wood-work, and time windows of elaborate beauty. The main building contains lecture-room, council-room, laboratory, museum, and students' day-rooms; at time north end is the Principal's residence, and at the south a library of more than 20,000 volumes.
John Timbs, Curiosities of London, 1867