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
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