The Building

UCL College at the time of its construction

To get back to the building of the college. The painting shows the architect, William Wilkins, showing the plans of the building, to Jeremy Bentham, (the man in the hat) and the other founders. Behind them is the portico, still surrounded by scaffolding.

Two years later, Wilkins designed the National gallery in Trafalgar Square, and I think we got much the better dome.

The part of the college initially built is shown in the engraving below. This comprised the portico and dome, and the cloister wings on either side.

There were plans for the North and South wings, but the funds ran out and these were not added till much later. The College was opened in 1828. There was no religious bar to entry, it had no faculty of theology, and became known as the Godless College. And it set up the first departments in England of subjects such as modern languages, geology, zoology, and of course chemistry.