Battle of Britain museum in Bentley Priory approved

Bentley Priory
Image caption Bentley Priory was home to RAF Fighter Command in 1940

A £9.5m museum to commemorate the Battle of Britain in the RAF's headquarters of the time has been given the green light in north London.

Bentley Priory, in Harrow, was home to Air Chief Marshal Lord Dowding's Fighter Command in the summer of 1940.

On the 70th anniversary of the decisive clash - in which the RAF repelled a German bid for air supremacy - Harrow Council permitted the museum.

A developer will also be allowed to build 103 homes on the site.

The rooms of Bentley Priory's Grade II-listed mansion house will now be open to the public for the first time in 80 years.

The museum is intended to pay respect to the Battle of Britain's RAF pilots, of whom Winston Churchill said: "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."

'Courage and sacrifice'

Bill Stephenson, leader of Harrow Council, said: "This decision will mean the spiritual home of the few is preserved for all.

"We must never forget the courage and sacrifice of the RAF pilots and ground staff during the Battle of Britain.

"Their actions truly changed the course of history in Europe and helped give each and every one of us the freedoms we enjoy today."

Air Chief Marshal Sir Brian Burridge, chairman of the Bentley Priory Battle of Britain Trust, said: "This represents the culmination of five years' hard work to ensure the priory and all it stands has a future as a museum.

"There is now much work to do in fundraising - and Churchill would have recognised that, 'This is not the beginning of the end, merely the end of the beginning'."

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