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RAF Bentley Priory, London


Originally built in 1766, Bentley Priory was significantly extended in 1788, by Sir John Soane. The Priory was the final home of the Dowager Queen Adelaide, Queen Consort of William IV. It was acquired by the Royal Air Force in 1926 and was the headquarters of RAF Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain. Extensive conservation and re-decoration work was undertaken as a member of the Hare & Humphreys team during the buildings conversion into luxury apartments, museum and memorial, dedicated to those who served in the RAF.


Primary tasks included the conservation treatment of the historic ceilings in the Adelaide Room and Entrance Hall which encompassed the assessment, recording, stabilisation, consolidation and retouching of painted surfaces, plasterwork and interior decorative features. Additional works included re-modelling of composition leaf detail and gilding of the Dome Room Rotunda and application of faux-stone specialist decoration to the Entrance Hall.




The entrance hall ceiling during conservation to treat discolouration, retouch losses and consolidate extensive blowing/detachment of the plaster and painted surface

Faux stone effect applied to entrance hall

Before, during and after consolidation of flaking and friable paint

Area of staining and discolouration to the painted surface before and after treatment


Newly gilded detail before toning to match surrounding original gold

Remodelling losses to plaster detail prior to gilding

Wear and loss todecorative gilded detail before and after treatment


View of rotunda during and after treatment

Replacement of lost composition detail and gilding

Close up of replacement detail after treatment

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