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Clouds Hill

Location

Dorset Map

OS Ref: SY 823 909

Last Visited: 2015

Clouds Hill

Clouds Hill

Clouds Hill, once the home of T E Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia), is today is pretty much as it was at the time of his death in 1935 at the age of 46.

Born in 1888, by 1922 Lawrence had gained a first class honours degree from Oxford, worked as an archeologist, been an undercover military intelligence officer in Cairo during the First World War, led a successful campaign for Arab self-determination as an advisor the Winston Churchill, and written the first draft of his best selling Seven Pillars of Wisdom.

A Bust by Eric Kennington in the Music Room

A Bust by Eric Kennington
in the Music Room

He was exhausted, and decided to enlist as an ordinary serviceman to make a living, whilst concentrating on his writing.

In 1923 while serving as a private in the Tank Corps at Bovington Camp, he decided to rent what he described as a half-ruinous little cottage a mile from the camp as a work-room. It had been built in 1808 as a simple labourerʼs cottage, probably for a forester on the Moreton estate.

Two years later he bought Clouds Hill, and gradually started doing it up. He had more or less finished the alterations a year or so before he died

For opening times, admission prices, etc. please see the National Trustʼs official site detailed below.

Lighting Bracket in the Music Room

Lighting Bracket in the Music Room

Visitors should note that although Lawrence installed a bath and water heater in the cottage there is no lavatory. "Give me the luxuries and I will do without the essentials," as he once said.

The National Trust have now cut back the rhododendrons that used to surround the cottage, so even this rudimentary alternative is no longer available.

Crash Memorials

Location

Dorset Map

OS Ref: SY 825 904

Last Visited: 2015

The Crash Memorial

The Crash Memorial

There are two memorial stones marking the crash site.

The first is under a tree planted to mark the site of Lawrenceʼs fatal motor-cycle accident, located in the tank ranges viewing area car park about 600m south of Clouds Hill Cottage.

The other is about 100m further north on a footpath that runs parallel to the road.

According to Wikipedia, "A dip in the road obstructed his view of two boys on their bicycles; he swerved to avoid them, lost control, and was thrown over the handlebars.". This seems strange, as nowadays the road is dead straight and completely level. No wonder there have been so many conspiracy theories.

Lawrence was buried in nearby Moreton churchyard, and there is an effigy of him by Eric Kennington in St Martinʼs Church, Wareham.