LAWRENCE OF ARA­BIA’S HIDE­AWAY

A TINY, ISO­LATED COT­TAGE IN RU­RAL DORSET, CLOUDS HILL WAS HOME TO ONE OF WORLD WAR I’S MOST ICONIC FIG­URES

History of War - - MUSEUMS & EVENTS -

T.e. lawrence is best known for his li­ai­son role dur­ing the arab re­volt in wwi, where he helped to unify arab forces against the Ot­toman em­pire and led mil­i­tary cam­paigns that culminated in the cap­ture of da­m­as­cus in 1918. he re­ceived heavy me­dia cov­er­age, which re­sulted in him be­com­ing known as ‘lawrence of ara­bia’.

lawrence was deeply un­set­tled by the pub­lic adu­la­tion, and the shame he felt in fail­ing to achieve a united arab state caused him to re­treat from pub­lic life. while de­lib­er­ately serving as an or­di­nary ser­vice­man in the bri­tish armed forces, lawrence rented a small, spar­tan cot­tage called clouds hill near his camp at bov­ing­ton, dorset. The cot­tage be­came a com­fort­ing re­treat for lawrence, and it re­mains in al­most the same con­di­tion as it was when lawrence died in 1935.

now owned by the na­tional Trust, clouds hill is an in­trigu­ing mi­cro­cosm of lawrence’s life and still con­tains many of his pos­ses­sions. items in­clude his gramo­phone, sleep­ing bag, read­ing bed, a tai­lor-made chair and his per­son­ally de­signed bath­room. his out­side mo­tor­bike shed con­tains a small dis­play about his life as well as ba­sic tea and cof­fee-mak­ing fa­cil­i­ties. There is also a pic­nic area on a hill over­look­ing the cot­tage that lawrence used to climb on most evenings to med­i­tate.

The ‘Mu­sic Room’ was where Lawrence en­ter­tained dis­tin­guished lit­er­ary vis­i­tors, in­clud­ing Thomas Hardy, E.M. Forster, Ge­orge Bernard Shaw and Robert Graves

De­spite his great fame, Lawrence re­nounced a po­ten­tially wealthy and priv­i­leged life to live in this rented cot­tage

Lawrence housed his beloved mo­tor­cy­cles in this garage, although he was trag­i­cally killed in a rid­ing ac­ci­dent nearby in May 1935

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