Bentley Priory Museum
The Bentley Priory Museum: An Introduction
The Bentley Priory Museum & Gallery are a leading art and design museum based in an 18th century hall at the center of the prestigious Victorian Priory School in the West London Borough of Camden. While on a walking tour through the Priory Museum one comes across a number of famous landmarks that date back to the Middle Ages. This article covers the most important places to go within the Museum.
The Bentley Mansion is one of the most popular tourist attractions, it was built in the year 1832 by the first Lord Bentley, and is the last known residence of the Marquis of Bentley. Built around one hundred and thirty-two rooms, it is considered to be the last great Bentley masterpiece. There is also a separate chapel, gardens and museum telling the intriguing history of the House of Bentleys during the reign of Queen Victoria. It is also a lovely Grade II listed building and the perfect location for a stroll around the Bressingham area.
The Bentley Priory Museum itself is a fascinating museum exploring the complete history of the Bentley House and the surrounding areas surrounding it, including the nearby towns of West Wickham and Bressingham. Many famous events took place at the palace, and here visitors can find details of some of these, including the famous Battle of Bassingham. Details of the world war ii are also available here, including the evacuation of passengers from the palace to the Netherlands and the landing on the beaches of the Solent. The air force officer commanding the evacuation of passengers and the securing of military bases during the world war ii were particularly close to the home of the future British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill.
Walking along the main hall, you will come across a plaque commemorating the restoration of the staircase leading to the staircase of the Bentley Priory Museum. This is the part of the house which has been restored and is now open to the public. There is also a further hidden floor to explore which is covered by a tiled roof. The first part of the restoration was undertaken in the late nineteen sixty’s and involved extensive cleaning and refurbishment, with a focus on the damaged ceiling and wall. All this work has been well documented in the book, The Bentley Mystery.
Part two of this article covers the period immediately following the Restoration, when the family moved to their present home in West Wickham. Here we look at the life of the duke of Buckingham, the poet and playwright Sir Walter Scott and his wife, Elizabeth Swarforth. This was a period which saw the revival of interest in William Shakespeare’s work and the birth of such writers as Coleridge and Marlowe. It is interesting to speculate whether the famous poet and playwright may have been inspired by one of his own works, The Babylock Stow, built in a storied house on Horse Street opposite the Bentley Priory.
The last part of this article covers the period leading up to the Tudor Regicides in 1560 and the establishment of the first British Monarchy, the House of Tudor. The museum includes a feature called the illuminated Tudor Man, created by Christopher Wicks. This is based on the popular legends and includes a portrait of Henry VIII and the infant King Henry VI. He is pictured wearing his ragged clothes, surrounded by his retinue of retainers, all wearing the battle standard of the time, the charger of the king, which is known as the prince’s standard. You can find details about the