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RAF Bentley Priory was a non-flying Royal Air Force station near Stanmore in the London Borough of Harrow. It was the headquarters of Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain and the Second World War. During the war, two bombs destroyed a wooden hut near the married quarters, a blast from a V1 flying bomb broke a few windows, and the windows in the Officers' Mess were shattered by a V2 rocket. The Royal Air Force station closed 30 May 2008 with all units relocating to new accommodation at RAF Northolt.
The station incorporated Bentley Priory, which was originally built in 1766. The house was significantly extended in 1788, by Sir John Soane, for John Hamilton, 1st Marquess of Abercorn. It was the final home of the Dowager Queen Adelaide, queen consort of William IV, before her death there in 1849. Afterwards the building was used as a hotel and girls' school before being acquired by the RAF in 1926. The site includes a Grade II* listed Officers' Mess and Italian Gardens. These, together with the park, are designated a Registered Garden Grade II. The land south of the house is the Bentley Priory Nature Reserve, a Site of Special Scientific Interest maintained by Harrow Heritage Trust.
Since its closure, the Officers' Mess has converted into the Bentley Priory Museum with exhibits focusing on the house's role during the Battle of Britain. The grounds have been redeveloped as an upmarket private residential housing estate.
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Bentley Priory Museum Reviews
Now in the middle of a luxury housing estate with gated entry. It’s a beautiful building and you can imagine all the history that has past through the building. A great museum which was fighter... more »
I visited with a group about a week ago on a non public day. The place is a hidden gem & for anyone with an interest in the Battle of Britain a visit is a must. We were very courteously received... more »
Fabulous museum for those interested in the Royal Airforce. Made all the more interesting as my wife's father who served in the RAF the whole of his working life was stationed here 40 years ago. Set in wonderful gardens. The building has regal history going back to Victoria's reign
A very nice and interesting visit. Very friendly staff. The cafe is a gem. Great cup of tea and delicious cakes too. Highly recommended.
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