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Help save the RAF’s Battle of Britain HQ

Monday, 19 September, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

The Prince of Wales has launched an appeal for £1.8 million to save the historic nerve centre of RAF Fighter Command during World War Two.

RAF Bentley Priory, Stanmore, was closed down and sold to developers in 2008. Funding problems mean that although plans were submitted to the local council to build over the Priory and its 40-acre gardens, nothing has yet happened.

However, a charitable group called the Bentley Priory Battle of Britain Trust has been hard at work behind the scenes to keep the priory itself as a museum. The RAF had preserved several key rooms in their original state, including the operations room from which the Battle of Britain was directed.

Air Chief Marshal Sir Brian Burridge, chairman of the appeal, said: “At the heart of our capital is Trafalgar Square, which commemorates a battle that saved England. But the Battle of Britain saved the world, and that is why this building is so important.

“We are almost at the culmination of six years’ work. Renovation has already started and we now need to ensure that the important stories that Bentley Priory holds within its fabric are exposed to public view.”

Prince Charles, acting through his Prince’s Regeneration Trust, has taken a keen personal interest in the fate of Bentley Priory. Writing in Friday’s Daily Telegraph, the Prince described Bentley Priory as “… a unique blend of wonderful architecture, a rich social history and the compelling effort of men and machines in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds.

“While each of these facets has importance in its own right, together they represent an unparalleled blend of such significance that future generations need to find accessible. Otherwise, they will fade from living memory and our ‘island story’ will be incomplete.”

To donate to the appeal, please visit the Bentley Priory Trust’s website.

Photo via mr_robd_lon, Flickr.

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