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This is in the grounds of Newhailes House. The house now belongs to the National Trust for Scotland and is remarkable as the Trust have decided not to restore it and "posh it up" like so many stately homes. It gives a real glimpse of the way the house has been used through time.

There are all sorts of fascinating things in the grounds - well worth seeing.

Unfortunately it was dark in the woods so the sky has flared out a bit, but I still thought it worth posting.

From Historic Scotland:

"The Shell Grotto (c1792) walls are sandstone with rubble and tufa facing. The interior was once lined with sea shells mounted on timber panels with a complicated system of hidden wall-flues and airholes pierced in the shells to allow hot air to penetrate the chamber."

from British Archeology:

"The Shell Grotto, close to an ornamental pool, suffered partial collapse after a fire in the 1950s, but excavations on behalf of the National Trust for Scotland have revealed something of its spectacular original design. Its walls must have sparkled, as they were decorated with thousands of semi-precious stones, shells from around the world, shiny pieces of china and broken glass - including the stems of early-mid 18th century wine glasses and glass decanter stops.

Its floor of polished sandstone and black marble was found almost intact. A flue system seems to have been designed to blow a smoky mist into the building, making it seem even more mysterious and atmospheric, especially when seen from across the pool."

I'll put a photo of one of the notices on the grotto's gate on the workshop to let you learn a bit more. The notices are shaped like book pages, but from stainless steel, and they are scattered round the grounds so you can read about the area.

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Additional Photos by Alastair Seagroatt (auldal) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 187 W: 80 N: 230] (1380)
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