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New Decade, Extended Shell House Website

Followers of our website will know that as writers/lecturers we have spent over 10 years exploring England, Wales and Ireland and noted their long history of shell artists and landscapes showing shell “ Fabriques”.


Terrington Shell House, North Yorkshire. Shell artist Linda Fenwick.

Shell Mosaic, Iford Manor, Wiltshire. Shell artist, Elizabeth Cartwright

Merlin’s Mound, Marlborough College. Shell restoration by Diana Reynell

Grotto Niche, Eaton Hall ,Cheshire. Shell artist, Blott Kerr-Wilson

Shell House, Curraghmore, Co. Waterford. Shell artist, Catherine de la Poer, Countess of Tyrone

We have now extended this to the continent of Europe and particularly that Europe opened to us through the aristocratic concept of the Grand Tour (1695 -1790) with its notification of art, architecture and nature. Inevitably this cannot be a comprehensive study, nor can it be complete. However, it does represent our journeying round some fifty cities and sites all over Europe. Each has been notified and photographed; our researches are our own.



Shell Feature, Borromeo Palace, Lake Maggiore, Italy
The Grande Cascade and grotto, Peterhof Palace, St Petersburg.

16th century Grotto of the Flood, Villa Castello, Florence.

Along with the extraordinary shell decoration and art, from pre-classical to neo-Renaissance times and beyond, we discover Aphrodite/Venus and Poseidon/Neptune – their genesis and changing significance.


Venus, Pan and Eros. Athens National Archaeological Museum, Greece.

Grotto of Venus. Art Deco Museum, Salamanca, Spain.
Drottingham Palace, Stockholm, Sweden.

Neptune Grotto. Sanssouci Palace, Potsdam, Germany.

Poseidon/ Neptune. Maritime Museum, Crete.

Devotion and pilgrimage (notably St James of Compostela) and the scallop shell as a religious motif have become increasingly important topics in our 2020 Lecture Titles.


Shell Chapel Guernsey

Stanway Church, Gloucestershire

Castel Rodrigo Church, Douro River, Portugal
The Shell House, Salamanca, Spain.

Where European Grottoes pull these subjects together, as rusticated or formal features, they too demand examination – there is extraordinary work in Dubrovnik, Italy, and Germany, Helsinki and aspects of a grotto in an underground station in Sweden.


The Grotto and Nymphaeum, Villa Aldobrandini, Frascati

The Grotto, Parco dei Mostri , Bomarzo, Lazio.

Villa d’Este, Tivoli, Italy

Shell Grotto, Cecilienhof Palace, Potsdam, Germany.

The Underground/ Kungstradgarden Grotto, Stockholm, Sweden.

Grotto, Trsteno , Dubrovnik,Croatia

Baroque Shell Rooms, Nymphaeum and water features, located in France, Italy, Germany, Austria – these too inevitably present themselves.


The Shell Room, Neue Palace, Potsdam, Germany.

Palais Longchamps, Marseille, France

The Nymphaeum and Grotto at Villa D’este, Lake Como, Italy.




The Nymphaeum, Lainate, Milan.




Our lectures continue in England and Florence. 2020 will see the launch of our Biography on the Shell Artist, Joyce Gascoigne (intro. Bamber Gascoigne) and we have a fully illustrated Conchinilia Journey III in preparation .




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