Brass rubbing trail

Children completing brass rubbing trail at Clouds Hill

As a young boy, TE Lawrence was fascinated with medieval history and imagery. Aged nine, he discovered brass rubbing and would visit churches around his hometown of Oxford with his friend creating rubbings from medieval tombs.

He made his rubbings using shoe wax and long rolls of paper or cloth. Lawrence’s mother said that ‘he covered the walls of his bedroom with them’. As a teenager he went on cycling holidays with his father where they collected brass rubbings. Four of Lawrence’s original brass rubbings featuring images of medieval knights are part of the National Trust collection and are on display at Clouds Hill. 

Visitors to Clouds Hill now have the opportunity to follow in Lawrence’s footsteps and complete their own set of rubbings from zinc plaques hidden in the hillside surrounding the cottage. There are eight plaques to discover, each one with an image relating to a key time in Lawrence’s life.

Trail sheets are provided, along with crayons to complete the rubbings. Although the trail is aimed at children, visitors of all ages are invited to try it for themselves.

Please note that the hillside surrounding the cottage is scrub and heathland covering steep and uneven terrain. Sensible shoes and a sense of adventure are a must! 

The trail has been funded with the help of the South Dorset National Trust Association.