In 1835, a farmer in Margate, England, was working in his field when something incredible happened: his spade fell through the earth and revealed that the ground beneath him was hollow.

To get a better look at what lay under the farm, locals lowered a small boy with a candle into the mysterious space. Little did they know that this would change the town forever.

The boy found beautiful rooms lined with thousands of seashells and told the town of his discovery.

After excavating the site, it was officially opened to tourists in 1837 and named The Margate Grotto.margate-grotto-3Kuriositas

People still visit this wonder today, but the question remains: Who built it… and why?margate-grotto-4Kuriositas

While no one really knows, some think it was built by an aristocrat in the 1700s when shell grottos were popular among the wealthy.margate-grotto-5Kuriositas

But with its mysterious altar and strange side rooms, others believe it is affiliated with the Freemasons or The Knights Templar.margate-grotto-6Kuriositas

Some even think that it is a remanent from an ancient civilization. margate-grotto-7Kuriositas

Admirers of the grotto used to leave their mark on the shells.margate-grotto-8Kuriositas

Due to its mysteries, people have held seances in the grotto since the 1930s.margate-grotto-9Kuriositas

Whoever built it, there’s no denying its intricate beauty.margate-grotto-10Kuriositas

Until the shells are carbon dated — an expensive process — its true origins will be left to the imagination. margate-grotto-11Kuriositas

Whoever put this mysterious place here sure had an eye for craftsmanship. I can’t imagine how long it took to create this!

Share this mysterious place with your friends below! If you want to know more about this mysterious grotto, or even plan a trip, be sure to visit the official website.