The relevance of the bedouin tent at Clouds Hill

Off duty army soldiers erecting a black bedouin tent in the garden at Clouds Hill

If you're visiting Clouds Hill during this summer, you might be intrigued to find an authentic Bedouin tent outside the cottage. The tent was shipped over from Jordan by Theresa Jenkins-Teague, a Clouds Hill volunteer and distant relation of T E Lawrence.

" camels bearing the hunched black loads which were the goat-hair tent-cloths ... camels tusked like mammoths or tailed like birds with the cocked or dragging tent-poles of silvery poplar"
- T E Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom

What are Bedouin tents?

The Bedouin are nomadic tribespeople of the desert. They move their tents around with them by camel, along with their sheep/goats which they graze on whatever pasture there is and then move on. So the tents are relatively easy to set up and take down but they are their entire accommodation. 

The Lawrence connection

Lawrence stayed in them quite regularly during his time with the Arabs in the First World War, although when out on raids he would have slept simply on a mat, wrapped in his arab clothing.

The Bedouin at Clouds Hill

Lawrence never had a bedouin tent erected at Clouds Hill, but they were the common form of shelter during his time travelling in the desert. 2017 marks the centenary of the Arabs, led by Lawrence and Auda, taking Aqaba, after a gruelling travel through the Nefud Desert. By Christmas 1917, the British and Arabs had taken Jerusalem.