Margaret and her husband Gerald have catalogued 5 years of travelling through Great Britain & Ireland visiting the sites of over 140 shell houses & grottoes. The West Country and the work of Joseph & Josiah Lane has been a particular fascination.
Our illustrated talks ( of between 50-80 minutes ) are often witty, always informative and individually crafted to audience & specific subject.
2016 has seen visits to grottoes at Twickenham, Crowe Hall, Fonthill, Stowe, Chatsworth, Holkham, Old Wardour, Charlemont and shell houses at Bowden Hall, Burnham Thorpe and Woburn Abbey amongst others.
2017 will see two publications and associated lectures:
(i) A Survey of the work of Joseph & Josiah Lane, Master Grotto Builders.
(ii) British/ Irish Shell House & Grotto Decoration - a Study of Shell Artists from the Eighteen Century to the Present.
(iii) Conchinilia Journey II
2017 has also seen visits to Curraghmore, Carton, Ballymaloe and Cullenstown in Ireland, Pontypool and Cilwendeg shell houses in Wales, and also Eaton Hall (Chester), Hawkstone (Shropshire) and Croome Park (Worcester). The Italian grottoes at Boboli Gardens, Florence and Isola Bella on Lake Maggiore have also been explored. We have travelled to Jersey and Cyprus. We were earlier at Ashill, Bicton, Leeds Castle, Oatlands and Walhampton. We attended Grotto Conferences at Wrest Park, Bedfordshire and Painshill, Surrey. We also visited Ingrid Thomas, Diana Reynell, Tim Mowl, Candace Bahouth, Ginny Ottewill and Blott Kerr-Wilson..
We are now focusing on Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Warwickshire for 2018-9, gathering further information on relevant sites and hopefully, discovering new features.
Stanway House, Cirencester Park, Dyrham Park, Painswick, Sezincote, Stancombe, Highnam, Barnsley, Daglingworth, Westonbirt, Dalesford, Mildene, Buckland Manor, Bleby House, Goldney and Warmley grottoes, Guy's Cliffe, Alscot, Arbury, Farnborough, Packington, Radway, Honington, Walton Bath House, Croome Court , Rousham and many more.