When the VV was writing her novel, Elijah's Mermaid, she became obsessed with the Margate Shell Grotto - a fabulously mysterious subterranean 'temple', the origins of which no-one is quite sure. 

For more about the Grotto's 'history' you can see this previous post. But, for today, the VV is concerned with posting some lovely new photographs to show how - whatever its origins or antiquity - the Shell Grotto is being lovingly preserved by its current owner Sarah Vickery.

Sarah recently asked for sponsors, for the creation of replica roundels to replace those that had been damaged in the intricate shell mosaics on the walls. Below are the beautiful results for the roundel sponsored by the VV - which is called 'Elijah's Mermaid.'

A section of missing roundel

The replica roundel in place

But where does this passage lead to?

The VV can't wait to go back to Margate and to see the Mermaid roundel in person, but for now she wanted to share this news, and to say - if you are near Margate this year - do go and visit the Grotto. A glorious, mysterious treat. A true historical wonder.

This is an extract from Elijah's Mermaid.

And here are some more images - many from actual historical locations - that inspired the writing of the novel.

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