This Mysterious Underground Building Still Baffles Everyone!
Mar 29, 2018

Jerome Patton
Core Spirit member since Dec 24, 2020
Reading time 3 min.

In 1835, a labourer 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, could see nothing.

Word spread, and a local schoolteacher soon volunteered his young son, Joshua, to be lowered into the hole with a candle. Joshua was safely lowered, and what he saw underground was a breathtaking mystery. When Joshua was pulled out, he described rooms filled with hundreds of thousands of carefully arranged shells.

This Mysterious Underground Building Still Baffles Everyone!

Needless to say, the adults were a bit skeptical, but when the hole was widened and they saw it for themselves, they were stunned. There was a passage, a rotunda, and an altar chamber, and the whole thing was covered in a mosaic of shells.

This Mysterious Underground Building Still Baffles Everyone!

Joshua’s father and the schoolteacher, immediately thought of the financial benefit that this place might have. He quickly bought the land and began renovating the grotto, making it suitable for visitors.

Two years later, in 1837, the Margate Shell Grotto opened to the public for the first time. And he was right; it did catch on with the public, and it’s still open and enjoying visitors today. Today, it’s also got a museum, gift shop, and cafe. But there’s still a major question hanging in the air: who built this, and why?

This Mysterious Underground Building Still Baffles Everyone!

With all these shells so carefully arranged, it’s clear that someone spent a lot of time – and money – on this creation. The shells arranged in sun and star shapes, the vaulted ceilings and altar-like spaces lead some to believe it once had religious significance.

Yet no one knows for sure, and no one is even sure how old the structure is. Theories about its origin place it as being built as long as 3,000 years ago.

This Mysterious Underground Building Still Baffles Everyone!

Other theories also run the gamut between ordinary and totally out there. Some think it was created as an aristocrat’s folly sometime in the 1700s. Others think it might have been used as an astrological calendar, or that it’s connected with the Freemasons or the Knights Templar.

Still, others maintain it is connected to a mysterious Mexican culture that lived some 12,000 years ago. Shell grottoes were actually quite popular in Europe in the 1700s among the wealthy.

This Mysterious Underground Building Still Baffles Everyone!

There’s only one catch: the Grotto’s location was on farmland, and that land has never been part of a large estate, where follies would have been built. Even in 1835, there was no record of its construction, which would have been a major undertaking.

People have been so stumped by this that in the 1930s, people held seances in the hopes of contacting the spirits of whoever built it. Visitors from the 1930s left their mark on some scallop shells in the grotto.

This Mysterious Underground Building Still Baffles Everyone!

The shells in the grotto, which include scallops, whelks, mussels, cockles, limpets, and oysters, can all be found locally. Only the flat winkle shells had to be brought in from elsewhere. The arrangement of the shells must have taken countless hours of painstaking work.

This Mysterious Underground Building Still Baffles Everyone!

In all, there are over 2,000 square feet of shell mosaic in the grotto. Many of the shells in the grotto have faded over time and lost their luster through water damage.

This Mysterious Underground Building Still Baffles Everyone!

To determine the age of the shells, they would have to be carbon dated. However, on the Shell Grotto’s FAQ page, it’s stated that this process is very expensive, and other conservation issues are currently prioritised.

Perhaps one day, we’ll at least know when this was built. For now, our imaginations can run wild with all the possibilities of the Shell Grotto’s mysterious past. Was it a smuggler’s hideout? A secret temple? An underground party room? The life’s work of a madman? Whatever it was, someone obviously cared about it enough to decorate it like this.

Arturo Mendez/Niume

Leave your comments / questions for this practitioner

To write a comment please
Category filter
Concern filter
Type filter

All categories

Esoteric & Occult
$95 USD
therapy session
Spirit Guide Profile Reading – Distance Reading

Spirit Guides are Souls who assist us in aligning to our Divine self-expression within our physical experience, and assist us in creating the experience we want for ourselves. They provide us with an endless flow of guidance and inspiration. This reading goes into the Akashic Records of each of your Spirit Guides and is designed to let you know about the spiritual support system available to you.

Theresa Ceruti
$45 USD
Spirit Consultation

Utilization of tools and energy to attempt to clarify the unknown and make it seen. Tarot, crystal balls, scrying glasses, pendulums, rune stones, bones, Spirit Boards, as well as Kinesiology (muscle testing), one or more of these modalities will be employed.

Rev. Maria D. Wilcox
Esoteric & Occult
$80 USD
healing session
Akashic Records Reading by Sister Earth Creations

Akashic Records Reading
by Spiritual Intuitive “Dianne” of Sister Earth Creations

Explore the Mysteries of who you are as a soul and learn how you are known and loved in the Akashic Records with a fun and insightful Akashic Record Reading..
This service includes spiritual growth techniques for healing the mind-body-soul connections.
Comes with record accessing and card reading.
30 years Experience as an Oracle reader.

Sister Earth Creations with Dianne Keast
$10 USD
30 Minutes Inquiry Call With Me

For clarifying questions in your mind and having a general idea if my services are a good fit for you.

Fatih Keçelioğlu

Related Articles

View All
Registered individuals enjoy all the possibilities of Core Spirit.