The Mystery of Margate’s Shell Grotto

The Mysterious Shell Grotto was discovered in 1835. It is an ornate subterranean passageway shell grotto in Margate, Kent that remains unsolved today. Almost all the surface area of the walls and roof is covered in mosaics created entirely of seashells, totalling about 190 square metres of mosaic, or 4.6 million shells. However, no one knows who cut through Kent’s underground chalk deposits to create this astonishing subterranean cavern with its 70 feet of winding walkways leading to a large chamber. Nor is it clear how they transported some 4.6 million shells and painstakingly adorned nearly every surface — the walls and arched ceilings, all 2,000 square feet of them — with exquisite, enigmatic symbols and designs.

Was it an ancient temple used for pagan rituals? A meeting chamber for a secret cult

The Grotto has traditionally been divided into five named sections comprising: Entrance Passage, Rotunda, Dome, Serpentine Passage and Altar Chamber.

The latest researcher is Mick Twyman of the Margate Historical Society who has recently published the results of several years study and believes the Grotto may have been associated with the Knights Templar with a construction date of mid 12th century. His conclusions are based on the careful measuring of angles within the Grotto and the observance of the position of projected sunlight onto the inside of the dome. He has also identified design features which he suggests points to the Altar Chamber being an early temple for Masonic rituals.

There are conflicting accounts of the Grotto’s discovery, although most agree on a date of 1835. The earliest reference to the discovery appears in an article in the Kentish Gazette of 22 May 1838, announcing its forthcoming opening as a public attraction. It has remained in private ownership ever since.


The Margate Shell Grotto written by R.F.LeGear

Pic Source:

No comments

Powered by Blogger.

Hi, we noticed that you're using an Ad Blocker

We depend on ads to keep our content free of charge. Please consider disabling your Ad Blocker while visiting this website.

If You Already Disable Adblock Reload This Page