This Mysterious, Centuries-Old Shell Grotto Is Marvelous!

In 1835, James Newlove of Margate, England, was digging a duck pond when his shovel came across some hollow ground. Curious about what was beneath him, he lowered his son Joshua into the hole for a closer look. What Joshua saw was astounding: a grotto, lined with intricately carved shells and designs.

The mysterious nature behind the 70 feet of tunnels and passages, all of which are underground, has ignited tons of theories about where this grotto came from, and why.

Some believe the grotto is affiliated with secret organizations like the Knights Templar of the Freemasons, while others believe it could be from an ancient civilization. The most logical and popular theory, however, is that an aristocrat built the grotto in the 1700s, during the peak of their popularity. Secret organization or built by an aristocrat, the grotto was reclaimed by the ground only to be discovered over a hundred years later.

One thing’s for sure; it’s a good thing that this architectural marvel is being preserved and cared for, along with its 4.6 million shells.

The Margate Shell Grotto has been open to tourists since 1837. While you’ll have to go all the way to England to see it in person, you can always check out the clip from British Pathe which was shot in 1937.

What do you think of the discovery of the grotto made by James Newlove in 1835? Do you think it is associated with secret organizations or an aristocrat? Use the comments section below and share your thoughts. We’d love to hear from you!

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