Bentley Priory, Middlesex

Bentley Priory has been one of City & Country’s most high profile projects to date. Not only due to the site’s historical value but because of the fantastic partnership the scheme represents, City & Country has worked alongside the Princes Regeneration Trust, the Battle of Britain Trust and new build developers; Barratt and Banner Homes.

City & Country converted and restored the Grade II* listed Mansion House, officers mess and barracks wing and associated building to create 25 luxury apartments and houses. As part of the project City & Country also delivered the a museum for the Battle of Britain Trust. 

The Museum is located in the ground and lower ground floors of the mansion house and occupies the key heritage rooms linked to the Battle of Britain, including the room where Lord Dowding staged his operations during WWII. These spaces boast elaborate cornice, panelling and decorative stone work which required expert craftsman to restore to their former glory. The Mansion had been gutted by fire in the 1980’s and had been hastily rebuilt in an unsympathetic way. Therefore, little of the original detailing survived, wartime survey photos and the original drawings were used to recreate these spaces as authentically as possible. Most notable was the detailed restoration to the magnificent Rotunda room and glass dome with its elegant gold leaf carved design. 

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  • Bentley Priory

    City & Country converted and restored the Grade II* listed Mansion House, officers mess and barracks wing and associated building to create 25 luxury apartments and houses. As part of the project...

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Interior Design

Facilities

  • Landscaping

    The Bentley Priory Mansion House is set in 57 acres of beautiful parkland with formal gardens sitting just south of the Mansion House itself.

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History

Bentley Priory remains most famous for its pivotal role as the Headquarters of Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain in 1940 one of the decisive battles of history. Had the battle been lost, the whole course of world history would have been changed.

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  • 1546
    Bentley Priory has a long and colourful history, from its monastic origins through to its use as a family home, its conversion into a hotel and then its eventual sale to the Air Ministry.In the period running up to the writing of the Domesday Book, The Priory housed a cell of Augustinian Friars in buildings to the south of the present mansion.  In 1546 The Priory’s religious days were over and Henry VIII gave the land to Robert Needham and William Sacheverell before it was ultimately sold in 1775 to James Duberley. James Duberly an army contractor is thought to have pulled down the original Priory buildings before building a more imposing house on the site.  
  • The Marquess of Abercorn In 1788 
    The estate was sold to the Hon James Hamilton the 9th Earl of Abercorn. On elevation to Marquess he set about enlarging the house and estate employing Sir John Soane, one of the most pre-eminent 18th Century architects, to extend and remodel the house in three phases. The Marqess was an influential figure and the Priory became a rendezvous for many political and literary visitors from William Pitt to Sir Walter Scott and the poet Wordsworth.
  • The Dowager Queen Adelaide 1848 - 1849
    In 1848 the Dowager Queen Adelaide, widow of William IV leased the Priory and regularly received Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Her legacy can be seen today in the Adelaide room with its beautifully painted moulded ceiling and fireplace, original to the house, with two ceramic side panels in the grate bearing Queen Adelaide’s monogram.
  • Sir John Kelk 1863 - 1882
    The estate was bought in 1852 by Sir John Kelk, an eminent Victorian engineer. Kelk made some improvements to The Priory including a picture gallery, a library, the clock tower, an orangery and a Tuscan Portico to the south front, which survives today.
  • The Gordon Family 1882 - 1908
    In 1882 the estate was sold to Fredrick Gordon, of Gordon Hotels, who converted Bentley Priory into a hotel.  Gordon was so convinced of the hotel’s success that he had the railway line extended from Harrow to Stanmore. However, after opening in 1885, the hotel was not a financial success so the family moved into The Priory and lived there until 1908.
  • A Girls Boarding School 1908- 1924
    The Priory changed hands in 1908 and functioned as a girl’s school until the financial depression of the 1920’s.
  • Modern History
    In 1926 the estate was split in to two lots and the house, along with 40 acres of the estate was sold to the Air Ministry. The remainder of the estate, about 240 acres, was sold to a syndicate who divided it into building plots with 90 acres being bought by Middlesex Country Council.

    RAF Fighter Command moved to Bentley Priory in 1936 with its first Air Officer Commanding, Air Marshall Sir Hugh Dowding. Under RAF ownership many of the original buildings on the site were demolished and replaced by RAF facilities. Prior to the outbreak of World War II the Priory underwent many changes including the adaptation of the two largest rooms into The Operations Room and The Filter Room. 

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Bentley Priory, Middlesex

Stanmore
HA7 3HT

Call 0117 314 9298
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