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180th Anniversary of Opening

We are excited to be celebrating our 180th anniversary of opening to the public this week. Our archivist recently discovered a news report in the 1838 Kentish Mercury, announcing the opening of the ‘Ancient Grotto’ on ‘Whit-Monday next’. The report was dated 2nd June 1838 which allows us to date the official opening of the Shell Grotto to Monday 4th June 1838…180 years ago!

The admission price in 1838 was one shilling, with children half price. To mark our 180th anniversary we are giving visitors to the Grotto a limited edition ‘Grotto Shilling Badge’ – we’ve got 999 of the shilling badges to give away (kept one for the archive, naturally!), so come see us this week to be part of Grotto history.



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