Last updated: 01/10/2019
For those who enjoy history, particularly about the Second World War, a tip is to visit the Bentley Priory Museum, an important place full of history that involves the British Air Force in one of the most critical moments in its history. Check out what to discover there.
Bentley Priory is a large estate in London's Harrow district and was an important deer park during the 18th and 19th centuries. The place has this name because, in the past, it was a medieval priory, that is, a medieval convent of Augustinian canons. In 1775, famous architect Sir John Soane designed a grand mansion on the site at the behest of magnate James Duberley. Soane had already been responsible for major works such as the bank of england and the Dulwich Picture Gallery, London's first art gallery. The mansion was the last residence of Queen Adelaide, wife of King William IV, before her death in 1849. It later served as a hotel and girls' school before being acquired by the Royal Air Force ("RAF"). in 1926.
In World War II, Bentley Priory was the headquarters of the RAF Fighter Command and remained under its stewardship until 2008. It was because of its use during the war years that the property gained fame. In 2013, the property was sold to be turned into a luxury condominium. However, the mansion has been turned into a museum and memorial dedicated to those who served the RAF.
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WHAT A VISIT TO THE BENTLEY PRIORY MUSEUM IS LIKE
The Bentley Priory Museum was opened on the site to celebrate its importance during the “Battle of Britain”, which was fought between the Nazi air forces (Luftwaffe) and the RAF. Taking place between 10 July and 31 October 1940, this battle took place in UK airspace and entered the history books as Hitler's first attempt to invade England.
Once you enter the mansion, you will pass through a beautiful atrium until you find the ticket office. Buy the ticket to start visiting the property. On the ground floor of the mansion, there is historical information about the Battle of Britain, important characters and how the Battle unfolded. The museum features displays of medals, paintings and artifacts.
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UNDERSTANDING THE “BATTLE OF GREAT BRITAIN”
One of the highlights is the recreation of a famous room, the “Filter Room”, which highlights the importance of radar during battle and the “Dowding System”, the first centralized air defense command and control system on a global scale. There are employees in almost all rooms who help to clarify any doubts. Be sure to watch a very interesting audiovisual film that explains the context of the battle and will help you understand what was behind the Nazi interests in bombing England.
After visiting the entire ground floor, you can head towards the Museum Café located on the lower floor (more on this later). On this same floor, there is an exhibition on the Second World War and there are periodic exhibitions on the theme of war, air defense and other topics that may involve the RAF.
COFFEE & GARDENS IN BENTLEY PRIORY
there is an Coffee very nice in the museum, overlooking the beautiful Italian Gardens that are at the back of the residence. The menu includes cold and hot options. In general, the menu covers soups, panini, stuffed potatoes and other British dishes. There are also varied options of drinks and cakes and desserts.
HOW TO GET TO THE BENTLEY PRIORY MUSEUM
The easiest way to get to the Bentley Priory Museum is by bus. You must take the bus number 142, the only one that leads to the entrance of the place. There are stops at Brent Cross, Colindale, Edgware, Stanmore, Bushey and Watford Junction stations. Get off at the “Heathbourn Road” stop. Walk to the entrance of the place, which is on a dead-end street. Inform the condominium concierge that you are going to the museum and your entry will be released. The way to the museum is made inside a condominium and takes about 10 minutes.
- Address: Mansion House Drive, Stanmore, London HA7 3FB, England
- Schedules: Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from March to September from 10 am to 5 pm / from October to February from 10 am to 4 pm | closed on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays
- Entrance: £8.80
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