What is Scott’s Grotto
Scott’s Grotto is a series of interconnected chambers, extending some 67ft into the chalk hillside. It is rumoured to have cost £10,000 and is thought to have taken 30 years to complete. The chambers and tunnels are lined with shells, flints and pieces of coloured glass, some donated by friends. On top of the hill above the tunnels there is a summer house which would have commanded a wonderful view over the town of Ware. The picture below shows the inside of the Council Chamber as labelled on Mr R T Andrews’s 1900 Plan of the Grotto. This chamber is the most highly decorated and has seats inset into its wall. One of these seats even has the word FROG written in shells, referring to his wife, Sarah Frogley.
Several theories exist as to why he built it, was it that he just wanted to decorate his garden or perhaps he wanted somewhere to write? Another possibility is he needed an attraction to draw London society out to visit him in Ware. Scott kept a visitor’s book which contains three thousand names so the attraction obviously worked.
The grotto is open 1400-1630 on each Saturday and Bank Holiday Monday between April 1st and September 28th. There is no need to book and entrance is free, but a suggested donation of £1 would be appreciated.
For more details, for other opening times, or to arrange a group visit, see the Visit Us page