Enjoy Arabic hospitality at Clouds Hill

Clouds

Experience traditional Bedouin hospitality this summer, enjoying Arabic coffee and dates in an authentic Bedouin tent.

The tent was especially made by the Howeitat tribe in Wadi Rum, Jordan. The Howeitat fought with Lawrence in the Arab revolt in the First World War. It was then shipped over to Dorset by Clouds Hill volunteer Theresa Jenkins-Teague through her contacts at the British Embassy in Jordan, with the assistance of 17 Port and Maritime Regiment, Royal Logistics Corps.

Theresa, who lives part of each year in Saudi Arabia, volunteers at Clouds Hill and will be offering Arabic style hospitality in the tent each Thursday afternoon to visitors throughout the summer.

She said: “Tents like this one are used for socializing and hospitality, and for protection from the heat of the day. Lawrence spent a lot of time in tents like this and the simple lifestyle of the Howeitat appealed to his own simple tastes.

“He designed the cottage here at Clouds Hill to provide the same basic comforts and he invited his many friends here to sample his hospitality.”

She hopes to plan further special events to mark the 130 years since the birth of T E Lawrence.

Clouds Hill became Lawrence’s sanctuary, as he attempted to escape the fame which his war time exploits had bestowed upon him, joining the Tank Regiment at nearby Bovington Camp under the name TE Shaw. He died just metres from Clouds Hill after suffering a fatal accident on his beloved Brough Superior motorbike in 1935.

Though tiny, Clouds Hill still hosts many of Lawrence’s possessions and is the only home of his not in private ownership. Now in the possession of the National Trust, it is open to the public daily until the end of October, from 11am to 5pm.

Volunteers are always needed to help the National Trust keep Clouds Hill open to visitors. If you are interested in supporting this very special place, please see the website for more details or contact  rachael.raine@nationaltrust.or.uk  for more information.