Lawrence of Arabia's Dorset retreat has listing upgraded

Cloud Hill Image copyright Clive Nicholson
Image caption Clouds Hill cottage in Wareham has had its status upgraded to Grade II* listing from Grade II

The rural retreat of TE Lawrence - better known as Lawrence of Arabia - has had its listed status upgraded in a bid to preserve the diplomat's legacy.

The British writer and soldier mobilised the Arab Revolt in the Middle East during World War One.

Clouds Hill cottage, in Dorset, served as Lawrence's retreat from barrack life from 1923 until his death in 1935.

Its status has been raised to Grade II* listing from Grade II, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport said.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Lawrence died in 1935 following a motorcycle accident
Image copyright ©National Trust Images/Dennis Gilbert
Image caption Clouds Hill remains unaltered and as Lawrence left it

Famous visitors to the building near Wareham, which is now managed by the National Trust, included the first female MP Lady Nancy Astor, poet Siegfried Sassoon and Welsh painter Augustus John.

Lawrence reconstructed the partly-derelict cottage, which has no electric lights, to his own specifications and needs.

Since his death, it has remained unaltered and preserved, the trust said.

Heritage Minister Tracey Crouch said: "This wonderful house held a special place in TE Lawrence's heart and gives us a glimpse into the home life of one of the most iconic writers and influential diplomats of the 20th Century.

"This extra protection will preserve the building and TE Lawrence's extraordinary legacy for years to come."

Lawrence of Arabia 1888-1935

Image copyright ALAMY
Image caption Peter O'Toole was nominated for an Oscar for his film portrayal of TE Lawrence
  • A trained archaeologist with deep sympathies for the Arab people, Lawrence became an adviser to the Arabs and led an Arab Revolt against Turkey during the Great War, attacking communication and supply routes
  • Sensationalised accounts of his war exploits made him famous, but he spent the rest of his life trying to escape his own celebrity
  • His memoir, Seven Pillars of Wisdom, formed the basis of David Lean's 1962 film Lawrence of Arabia, starring Peter O'Toole (pictured)
  • Lawrence is buried in the parish churchyard at Moreton, Dorset

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