UNDERGROUND – mosaic that hides a secret more than 3000 years – Margate Shell Grotto

shellgrotto

In 1835, a laborer in Kent, England, was doing his usual field work. What wasn’t so usual was when he struck the soil with his spade and it just disappeared into the Earth. Apparently, he was standing on something hollow, but from the surface, he could see nothing.

Word spread, and a local schoolteacher soon volunteered his young son, Joshua, to be lowered into the hole with a candle. If you think dipping your child into a mysterious cavern in the Earth seems a bit, well, unsafe, we do, too. Luckily, Joshua was fine, and what he saw underground was a breathtaking mystery.

shellgrotto

shellgrotto

shellgrotto

When Joshua was pulled out, he described rooms filled with hundreds of thousands of carefully arranged shells.

The Shell Grotto is an ornate subterranean passageway shell grotto in Margate, Kent. Almost all the surface area of the walls and roof is covered in mosaics created entirely of seashells, totalling about 190sq metres of mosaic, or 4.6 million shells. It was discovered in 1835 but its age and purpose remain unknown. The Grotto is a Grade I listed building and is open to the public.

shellgrotto

shellgrotto

Attached to the grotto is a museum, gift shop, and cafe.

The purpose of the structure is unknown, and various theories have dated its construction to any time in the past 3,000 years. Theories include: it was an 18th or 19th-century rich man’s folly; it was a prehistoric astronomical calendar; it is connected with the Knights Templar; it is connected with Freemasonry; it was built by the Phoenicians; it was created by Pythagoreans/Oriental Kabalists; it was a funerary building built by Ancient Cretans; it is linked to a Mexican civilisation of that lived about 12,000 years ago…and so it goes on.

It has remained in private ownership ever since.

shellgrotto

shellgrotto

IF YOU LIKE THIS AND YOU WANT TO VISIT THIS PLACE CHECK OUT THEIR SITE – THE SHELL GROTTO MARGATETell me will you have time and patience to make a mosaic like this?

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