some of my weekend hours were spent amongst the mystery that is the shell grotto in margate, the only attraction in the town it seems. discovered upon by children in 1835 ( the cubby house to end all cubby houses!), debate over its origins have continued ever since. situated beneath a quaint and tiny kiosk in a suburban street, you descend into a mosaic wonderland and another world. here you discover every conceivable surface covered with a profusion of patterns and symbols in shells – 4.6 million of them to be exact! – trees of life, hearts, phallus, gods and goddesses abound but blackened from the gas lamps used to light the grotto during victorian times. it’s the mystery that gets me excited – ancient temple, pagan place of worship, rich man’s folly or smugglers cave?
p.s if you do find yourself in margate – make a dash to eddie gilbert’s in ramsgate for the best fish and chips ever!