Friday, 24 July 2015

A VISIT TO BENTLEY PRIORY ……….





Originally built in 1766, Bentley Priory was significantly extended in 1788 by Sir John Soane. The Priory was the final home of the Dowager Queen Adelaide, subsequently becoming an hotel and girls school before being acquired by The Royal Air Force in 1926. In WW2 it was the headquarters of RAF Fighter Command.






A fire in 1979 peeled off the whitewash paint of the above ceiling, revealing the intricate painted pattern designed by Sir John Soane so, although much was lost in the fire, the ceiling was revealed.






The 10 minute diorama/film about Sir Hugh Dowding, the commander of RAF Fighter Command, and the Battle of Britain is presented brilliantly.


One of the many stained glass windows.



I seemed to take rather a lot of chandelier photographs !!!!



All the information received was fed through the Filter Room before being passed to Sector Level.



The views are magnificent, this being the highest point in Middlesex and the Italian gardens are a work in progress and are coming on nicely.




The staff and guides were so knowledgeable ….. it's a beautiful place to visit and so well presented. The exhibits are brilliant and the tour explains the role of this beautiful house during World War 2 and the role of Fighter Command and the history of the Battle of Britain. You feel as if you've just dropped in on Sir Hugh Dowding and the RAF personnel. 
Without RAF Bentley Priory's work in WW2, things just might have turned out very differently.




XXXX






image 1: via agnautacouture, image 2: via barwin ….. remaining images via me !!

Jackie

47 comments:

  1. What a great place. I love Soane's museum in Lincoln's Inn as well.

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    1. It really was Tom and presented so well. Soane's museum is wonderful too. XXXX

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  2. Such an incredible place and time. Hope I make it back to GB someday. So much I didn't get to see.

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    1. It was really interesting Donna ….. I didn't think that I was going to enjoy it before we went but it was a lovely day out. XXXX

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  3. What a beautiful place. I love visiting interesting old homes. I've been in two houses designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, too. Seeing them was great.

    Love,
    Janie

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  4. From your photos it looks to have been very 'artistically' prepared; not always the case with museums.

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    1. It was so well done Cro …… I think that they must have a bit of money behind them. XXXX

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  5. A gorgeous house. I'm intrigued by the upper floors on the right hand side and how narrow those rooms must be. Were you able to get inside them?

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    1. No Jessica ……. it was mainly the ground floor { which was HUGE } and the lower ground floor. Quite a bit of it are privately owned apartments. I was thinking of you when we walked around the gardens …… they were a bit of a disappointment but they have only recently started to renovate them and I think that the house came first. XXXX

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  6. What a wonderful place, dear Jackie............THOSE chandeliers..........and how I love the garden! And thank you so much for your lovely comment..........yes, I feel better now and Sheila is ok. (but she does not like that heat). You asked about the Franz Liszt picture..........at the end of that my post you find the link (posterlounge)...........you can get it in many sizes and also in black & white......love it!

    Have a great weekend, my dear friend, hugs Jade

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    1. Oh Jade ….. thanks so much for the Franz List picture information. I shall try and get myself one ……. you are my inspiration !!
      Aren't those chandeliers beautiful ?
      So pleased that you are feeling better and that Sheila is fine …… I remember that she was quite ill a while ago. I can see that she sleeps through the heat !!!!
      I will now go and find the painting ! Much love. XXXX

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  7. Hello Jacqueline,
    You look right at home in the latter image, stunning photo and what beautiful hair you have too
    The ceiling is captivating and thanks for he chandelier images.
    Another fascinating post.
    xx

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    1. It was a really interesting place to visit Helen. Lovely gardens and a cafe that sold homemade cakes !! XXXX

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  8. Wonderful post . . .
    Loved the chandeliers . . .
    The ceiling reveal after the fire . . .
    The stone and urns . . .
    Design, greens, history . . .
    And you, final pic . . . pondering . . . taking it all in.

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    1. Thanks Lynne …… I wasn't sure if anyone would find it interesting but I think everyone would enjoy it. It was just done so well. XXXX

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  9. I think I could live here Jackie! What an beautiful place! When I read about the age of some of these amazing places in your country, I am really intrigued that they have existed so beautifully. I drooled over every beautiful chandelier and just so happy that I don't have to clean them all :))))) The ceiling
    that was preserved is a work of art in itself. What an interesting past this place has. I love you for taking us with you on this tour my lovely friend!!!
    much love...

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    1. Dear June ……. there was even more history to it . Henry V111 took the Priory when he dissolved the monesteries in the 1530's.
      The gardens were a little disappointing as they had only just started to renovate them ….. I think that they need you to help them !!
      Have a lovely weekend June. Lots of love. XXXX

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  10. Oh Jackie, what an amazing piece of history you maintain in your country, being used before a commanding post landmark for a school is my favorite part of the history. Could you imagine every going to such a school, well I am sure you can with all the history and historical buildings in your country. Yet here is the states schools have become very modern one level and quite bland.

    As for the views I am seeing this historical sight through your eyes, and I know if I were on this tour I too would be photographing all the Chandelieres as well. As for the architecture and windows of stained glass the arched window with the crowns is amazing.
    I do have to mention the gardens, those urns set about are awwww! Inspiring. Can you imagine even one of them in our own personal gardens? I could though imagine one in June's garden beds of rolling beauty and beautiful blooms of colour.

    Thank you for taking the time to visit me. It means a lot to hear a comment such as to your style and finding mine so pleasing to your favorites in the distressed shabby whites.

    See you soon my dear, and all the beauty and grace you share.
    Xx
    Dore

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    1. Oh Dore, I'm so pleased that you enjoyed it. It wasn't a trip that I was particually looking forward to but it turned out to be really interesting and was put together so well. The urns were beautiful …. I'd love one in our garden although it might be a bit too big !!!! They definitely need June there to sort out the gardens. Some of June's roses and peonies would have set the gardens off beautifully !!
      I love looking at your blog Dore ……. your home is how I would like mine to look !!
      Have a great weekend and keep showing us your stunning home. XXXX

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  11. I was really thrilled to read this wonderful post today - thank you so much for sharing you splendid photos of your visit. My late mother was a plotter in the WAAF and stationed I believe in one of the south coast operations, if not Bentley Priory. She told me some about those wartime days. She actually worked in an underground bunker for several weeks at a time plotting the planes crossing the Channel up to the time of the Battle of Britain. I just wish I had pried many more detailed stories from her - but your post made me look up a lot of additional info. online, including personal stories of other air force women attached to the Observer Corps., and reading Sir Winston Churchill's wonderful words in praise of the men and women doing that work which change the course of the war.
    If I ever have the chance when home in the UK, I will try to visit Bentley Priory - I think I would find much to interest me.
    Again, thanks Jackie.
    Mary in North Carolina

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    1. Dear Mary,
      I'm so pleased that you enjoyed seeing Bentley Priory. It was so interesting.
      … and, there was an underground bunker where the plotting went on but, it is sealed up now and would cost millions to open it up for the public. Maybe they will in the future. My mum was in the ATS and my Dad was in the RAF …… I did wonder if he had been to Bentley Priory. Like you, I wish that I'd asked more when they were alive.
      You would really find Bentley Priory interesting, especially with your family history. Hope that you get to visit one day. XXXX

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  12. Wowww beautiful...love That garden and building....enjoy summer love Ria x!

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    1. It really was interesting Ria.
      Have a lovely weekend. XXXX

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  13. What a lovely place to visit and beautiful
    gardens too. :-)

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    1. It was a really interesting day Deb …… and a beautifully sunny day too. XXXX

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  14. What an interesting place - so much part of history, beautiful too. No wonder you were taken with the chandeliers - whenever I see chandeliers like that I always think of that episode in Only Fools and Horses - hilarious. Have a lovely week my friend.

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    1. That was one of my favourite episode of Only Fools and Horses Elaine and the one where he falls through the bar !!!!!
      I do have a bit of a thing for chandeliers.
      Enjoy your week too Elaine ….. here's hoping that the weather cheers up …. I was freezing yesterday !!!! XXXX

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  15. I would have loved to have gone with you. I watch the Bentley Circle TV shows, find the movies of WW2 fascinating. What a beautiful place, Glad I got my Computer running again. yvonne

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  16. I would have loved to have gone with you. I watch the Bentley Circle TV shows, find the movies of WW2 fascinating. What a beautiful place, Glad I got my Computer running again. yvonne

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  17. I would have loved to have gone with you. I watch the Bentley Circle TV shows, find the movies of WW2 fascinating. What a beautiful place, Glad I got my Computer running again. yvonne

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    1. Hi Yvonne …. wish you'd been there too ….. I know that you would have loved it.
      It's good that you're back online. XXXX

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  18. I'm particularly impressed by the wonderful stained glass window - one so seldom sees secular themes in stained glass other than nature and mythical beasts. Perhaps I may take a match to my own windows in the vain hope that something like this will be revealed...

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    1. You never know Mise, but setting fire to your home might be a tad drastic !!!! XXXX

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  19. always love your travels and days out...love the pic of you the best...

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    1. Hi Cynthia …… glad you enjoyed my trip out to Bentley Priory.
      Hope all's well with you. XXXX

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  20. Me again Jackie, sorry to be away a good while, still struggling with complications of this illness. but just wanted to say 'Hi, still around! ;)'. This looks like a fabulous place to visit, I loved your first photograph as well, the one of the gorgeous gal. And then the one of you...another gorgeous gal!
    The photo projected on the wall looks like Sir Anthony Eden although you said it was Sir Hugh Dowding.
    Much huggings dear Jackie,
    Jane x

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    1. Hi Jane,
      Thanks so much for your lovely comment and I do hope that you are feeling a bit better at the moment.
      You are right about Sir Anthony Eden. The film was about the war and the part the Sir Hugh Dowding played in the war ….. I just took a very quick, sneaky photograph which happened to be with Anthony Eden !!!! Sorry for the confusion !!
      Much hugging back Jane. XXXX

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  21. Thank you, Jackie: I have made a note in my little pink book to visit it as soon as I am in London (this will be 2 times in autumn, I think). As Tom I visited Sir Soane's House in Lincoln Inn a few times, but never knew anything about this great place.

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    1. It's a lovely place to visit and not ' heavy ' like a lot of museums Britta. Check their website before you go for opening times etc. { I'm sure you had already thought of that !! } XXXX

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  23. How utterly fabulous.... will put on the to go to list!!

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    1. It was so interesting ……. nothing heavy !! XXXX

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