Stained Glass Windows at Bentley Priory

Spitfire Site

Stained glass windows with designs related to the war could be found here and there in post-war Europe – mostly in churches, which traditionally ...

Stained glass windows with designs related to the war could be found here and there in post-war Europe – mostly in churches, which traditionally provide a setting for this form of art. The depicted window is one of the best known in Britain, being located at the grand staircase of RAF Bentley Priory. Sadly, it is a part of the historic environment which very recently was in the risk of being converted into a residential building.

Located in the priory entrance hall, stained glass windows commemorate the Royal Air Force role in winning the Battle of Britain. The “Spitfire” window is balanced by another, same in size and similar in style, showing a Hurricane. In 1992, another stained glass window was funded by Royal Observer Corps to mark the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, showing two observers on duty at an Observer Corps post in central London with contrails overhead.

Let’s hope that together with the rest of Dowding’s headquarters, these Windows will be preserved as part of a museum environment open for everyone to see.

5 Comments | Add New

By slowhand813  |  2010-05-10 at 17:34  |  permalink

I served 13 years in the RAF 6 at RAF Stanmore and spent a lot of time at Bentley Priory. How can these poloticians sell of such a important symbol not just to those who served there but to everyone in the RAF and those old enough to remember what they did during the Battle of Britain. I visited Stanmore park in April 2010 and it was so sad to see these houses on what was an important camp. Bentley stood for everything the Battle of Britain was. its so sad that these pen pushers can shut such an important station. I for one will never forget serving in these two camps and am ashamed of those that shut it.

By Kenneth Holwell  |  2010-06-09 at 11:23  |  permalink

I spent 3 years at HQFC 1955-58 working in the Priory building on the top floors in the Organisation Branch. I remember the conference room with all the Battle Reports written by the fighter pilots in frames around the room. I often wonder what happened to them when the area was turned into officers accomodation. It was a great place to work in. I was there when the Queen came to the 40th anniversary of the RAF Dinner, a painting of which is at RAF College Cranwell. We helped organise the event but we could only watch it happen on the TV in the NAAFI at Stanmore Park. I have only good memories of all the personnel that I worked with and the place itself.

By Alastair Barnett  |  2015-01-25 at 23:39  |  permalink

Hi Kenneth,
I was excited to see someone was there at the RAF 40th. Anniversary Dinner.

I was stationed at RAF Swinderby in Lincs and was sent to serve the top table at the event. One of the highlights for me was assisting Richard Dimbleby set up the miniature aircraft on the tables prior to the broadcast. The entire royal family were in attendance. What a night. I live in Canada now but never forgot those three days of preparation at Bentley Priory. I still have the Servers Instruction sheet.

By stan soc  |  2010-05-12 at 00:02  |  permalink

The 3 windows at Bentley Priory are safe as they are part of the Grade 2
listed mansion. The Battle of Britain Trust will form a muesium at the site
as part of a section 106 agreement when sadly the rest of the site is sold off for housing development.

I am at the moment trying to stop the Cold War bunker from being filled in, as I see it as very much part of the BP’s history durring it’s time as Strike Command. Should you share my concerns of this proposed act of vandalisum, please write to, or e-mail Harrow Council’s Planning Dept. to register your objections. For more info, see / planning, look under Bentley Priory, The Common, HA7.

Should you like to see the windows at BP, we have an open day on the Saturday, 22nd May with a Spitfire fly past in the afternoon, more info,see, for this and other events.

I am a life long resident of Stanmore and share slowhand’s comments on
ex RAF Stanmore Park’s final fate of gross over development, with no refferance of it’s past history.

By Peter Kelly  |  2013-09-12 at 14:38  |  permalink

I spent 2 1/2 yrs. at HQFC Stanmore 1952/55 in Signals and felt very privileged to be working there taking into account it’s importance during wartime. I was fortunate on one occasion to see inside the Priory with it’s array of station insignia around the hall which I found most moving. Much has been said about forgetting the war but I feel strongly that our history is imbedded in such places as Bentley Priory/ Hill House etc. and should be preserved.

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