Downsizers Drawn To Rich History Of Bentley Priory

When Dale Morgan, a successful business owner, and his wife Barbara, a former psychotherapist, made the hard decision to downsize, the couple were adamant that they did not want to lose any of the character and charm that they had enjoyed with their period family house.

Having been born and raised in Harrow, Mr Morgan was keen that he and his wife stayed within a similar area when looking to move. He comments: “Throughout the 70s and 80s I ran a busy chain of convenience stores in Harrow, and having lived in the area for a long time we were both keen to stay close to our roots and to look at properties around the area.”

When they heard that City & Country were renovating Bentley Priory, which served as the headquarters of fighter command for the Battle of Britain, the avid historians jumped at the chance to own a part of this historic landmark. 

Mr Morgan comments: “I considered it a rare opportunity moving to Bentley Priory as I am a keen historian and I was excited to learn that it served as the former HQ of the Battle of Britain, as well as having been home to royalty in the past.  The grounds have been beautifully landscaped, and given its proximity to London, you feel like you are in the middle of the countryside.”

True to his word, Mr Morgan acquired possibly the development’s most historic property, ‘The Dowding Suite’, named after Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding, Commanding Officer of Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain, who staged operations from the apartment. Arranged over three floors the apartment is set within the Mansion House, and provides over 2,335 sq ft of living space with double height ceilings and three large terraces that afford exceptional far-reaching views of London.

Then and now: (L-R) Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding’s former office, the entirely renovated living space in the Dowding Suite

Since moving into their new home, the Morgan’s have experienced a quality of life they had never dreamed of.  Their apartment is low maintenance and blends cutting edge design with many period features, whilst they also enjoy the stunning landscaped gardens without the hassle of maintaining them. 

Mr Morgan adds: “Our property has been superbly well designed with high ceilings, big windows, three balconies and good storage, which has made our lives easier having come from a far larger property.  The open plan layout also makes it much more sociable with the combined effect of making the place look so much bigger.  When you are downsizing that’s very important.”

City & Country has a track record of delivery and success and Mr Morgan and his partner were delighted with the sales process.  Mr Morgan comments: “Throughout the whole process the sales team did everything they possibly could to help and support us.  If there were any issues, they were happy and willing to get involved and provide solutions in a timely fashion.  From the labourers to the Managing Director, the City & Country staff were all incredibly helpful and considerate.  They are without doubt a very professional organisation that lives up to their word.”

The former RAF Bentley Priory was originally built in 1766. Award-winning restoration experts City & Country began the painstaking work to sympathetically restore and convert the historical buildings in 2011. Combining a rich historical setting with a modern twist, the mansion house has been home to several notable residents during its lifetime including Queen Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, Queen Consort of William IV and John Hamilton, 1st Marquess of Abercorn. Distinguished visitors include Sir Walter Scott, Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and Winston Churchill.

Bentley Priory is located a short distance from a variety of cafes and restaurants in Stanmore High Street.  Despite the tranquil feel of the development it is less than 13 miles from Central London and ideally sits at the end of the Jubilee line.   There is also easy access to the M25 and Heathrow International Airport.