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Upgraded listing for Lawrence of Arabia's rural retreat

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Heritage minister Tracey Crouch has upgraded the listed status of Lawrence of Arabia’s country cottage in Dorset  

Explaining her decision to increase the statutory protection for the rural retreat to Grade II*, Crouch said: ’This extra protection will preserve the building and T E Lawrence’s extraordinary legacy for years to come.’

The four bedroom National Trust cottage, called Clouds Hill, was used by the diplomat and writer during the 1920s.

He hosted guests there including war poet Siegfried Sassoon and Post-Impressionist painter Augustus John. It was also where he wrote some of his most successful books.

Lawrence, who became known as Lawrence of Arabia following his involvement in the Arab revolt, described the isolated early 19th century tile and brick cottage as ‘a hut in a wood near a camp wherein I spend my spare evenings.’

When Lawrence first started work on the cottage in 1923, it was largely derelict, and he rebuilt it making the fittings and furnishing himself.

Since his death in 1935, the cottage has remained as he left it, without electricity or heating. Helen Mann, general manager for the National Trust said, ‘the tiny, isolates cottage offers a real insight into the reflective, private and complex character of Lawrence.’ 

While 92 per cent of the 376,000 listed buildings in the UK are Grade II, only 5.5 per cent are Grade II*.


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