Visitors looking at exhibition panels on The Dowding System

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. When is the Museum open?

A. The Museum is open on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. We are open on Tuesdays and Thursdays for large group visits, schools sessions and venue hire.

March – September: 10:00-17:00 (last admission at 16:00)

October – February: 10:00 – 16:00 (last admission at 15:00)

Q. Is there an admission charge to visit the Museum?

A. Yes, there is an admission charge. As an independent Museum and charity, income from admissions is an important financial support.

Q. How is the Museum funded?

A. Bentley Priory Museum is an independent Museum and registered charity. The Museum does not receive funding from the RAF, MOD, local or national government. We are reliant on income generated through admissions, our Cafe and shop, grants and donations.

Q. Do I need to pre-book my visit to the Museum?

A. No, you do not need to book your visit to the Museum unless you are visiting as part of a group which has more than 20 people.

Q. Is the Museum wheelchair accessible?

A. Yes, the Museum and gardens are accessible for wheelchairs. A lift is available between the 2 floors of the Museum. There is an accessible toilet and 4 accessible parking spaces directly outside the Museum. 2 wheelchairs can be borrowed (subject to availability).

Q. Can photographs be taken in the Museum?

A. Yes, photographs can be taken for personal use. Please do not use the flash or a tripod. If you are interested in taking commercial photography or film, please contact the Museum to discuss consent and cost.

Q. Can we walk around the wider ground of Bentley Priory?

A. No, the wider grounds of Bentley Priory are private and accessible only to residents of the Bentley Priory Estate. Admission to the Museum includes access to the beautiful Italian Gardens.

 Q. Is the Museum suitable for families?

A. Yes, the Museum is an accessible and engaging place for families to visit.  There are trails for families to support exploration of the Museum, and activities during the school holidays.

Q. Are guided tours available?

A. Yes, guided tours are available for pre-booked group visits. If you are not part of a group, our volunteer room stewards will be on hand to support interpretation and answer your questions when you visit.

Q. Are refreshments available to buy at the Museum?

A. Yes, the Museum has a Cafe which serves hot and cold drinks, snacks, hot soups and toasted paninis. We also have a selection of traditional sweets to buy. Afternoon tea is available for pre-booked group visits.

Q. Are visitors able to go into Dowding’s Office?

A. Dowding’s Office is brought to life via a spectacular 10 minute audio visual film. The Award Winning audio visual film is projected onto Dowding’s Office and explores the important impact of Dowding’s leadership during the Battle of Britain. Visitors are not able to enter Dowding’s office due to the set-up of the film and for conservation considerations.

Q. Do you have any information about RAF personnel who served during the Battle of Britain?

A. The Museum does not have an archive or hold any RAF service records. The following organisations hold service records and archival and photographic collections relating to RAF personnel and the Battle of Britain:

RAF Air Historical Branch
Web: http://www.raf.mod.uk/ahb
Telephone: (+44) 20 8833 8175
E-Mail: ahb.raf@btconnect.com
Post: Air Historical Branch (RAF) and Publications Clearance Branch (Air), Building 824, RAF Northolt, West End Road, Ruislip, Middlesex, HA4 6NG

National Archives, Kew
Web: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/

RAF Museum
Web: http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk