Clouds Hill Dorchester
National Trust
King George V Road
Bovington
Dorset BH20 7NQ

 

Hidden away in the pretty Dorset countryside, near Wareham, is the rural retreat of an extremely well known man, T E Lawrence (‘Lawrence of Arabia’). The tiny, isolated cottage is named Clouds Hill after the small wooded hill rising behind it.

The brick and tile cottage is covered in white plaster with just a narrow door and a small dormer window in the front facing the lane. At the back, there is a downstairs window and three dormer windows looking out to the hill. The upstairs rooms are unlined with the beams and roof tiles visible.
 
The house is sparsely furnished and it is obvious that Lawrence lived here with a minimum of belongings. He slept on the floor in a sleeping bag, embroidered ‘Mine’, and overnight guests were accommodated in the same way with a sleeping bag embroidered ‘Yours’.
 
Thomas Hardy & George Bernard Shaw
Some of Lawrence’s best friends who visited and stayed with him were authors Thomas Hardy, George Bernard Shaw, E. M. Forster, John Buchan and Robert Graves.
 
Lawrence first started living at Clouds  Hill in 1923 when he was stationed at nearby Bovington Camp with the Tank Corps. He rented the cottage from his cousins the Framptons whose estate bordered the camp. A few years later he negotiated to buy the cottage.
 
All his eccentric ideas and renovations to the property remain giving us the picture of a man living a life pared back to the bare bones. No luxuries here, just his beloved books, personal mementos and photographs reflecting his close ties with the Middle East.
 
Special Exhibition in Garden Garage
There is a special exhibition on his life housed in the garage in the garden. The house has been left as it was when Lawrence was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident on his way back to it. The spot is marked by a small memorial at the side of the road.
 
Lawrence is buried at the Church of St Nicholas and Magnus, Moreton - in the new Church Yard, separated from the church, behind a portico.
 
Plan Your Visit
Accommodation - Search & Book through Hotels.com here:
 
Opening dates, Times & Admission
Mid March to October inclusive
Go to official National Trust website (below) for details.
 
Disabled Access
This is a small building and only has small rooms and narrow doorways. There is no electric light so some visitors may wish to time their visit to take advantage of the longer, lighter days of summer.
 
Facilities
Toilet - Use Staff Toilet.
Self service catering in the Motor Bike Shed
No photography of the interior allowed.
T E Lawrence books are on sale.
 
Country walks
The ‘Lawrence Trail' leads to a picnic spot on top of the hill and a 3 mile (5 km) circular walk
 
Contact & Further Information
Telephone  +44 (0)1929 405 616
Mail  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
Getting There
The National Trust website has excellent ‘Getting There Information’  (External Link)
 
Google Map - Clouds Hill