Shell House showcase: Woburn Abbey
The Shell Loggia (1620), Woburn Abbey
Designed by Isaac de Caus and built from 1620, this magnificent room connects various ground-floor areas within the main house. Today it has the addition of glass windows but all the original shell work is meticulously maintained.
The walls have stratifications of abalone shells and tufa rock-work. Even grotto chairs take on the form of mussels and tables are carved into scallop designs..... thus enhancing the room's underwater theme.
The ornate ceiling is completely covered in symmetrical bands of mother-of-pearl. Even the classical figures of dolphins, putti and Neptune's mask are shell encrusted.
Woburn Abbey also has a 19th century Shell House within its grounds- undergoing restoration at the moment.