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Yesterday I went to Margate. It is a faded town on Britain’s East (North Sea) coast. Before the Turner Contemporary Art Gallery opened, it’s most famous attraction was a failed amusement park called “Dreamland”, whose rotting shoreline hulk of carousels and roller coasters could be seen for miles around. Although it looks OK in the glorious Autumn sunshine we had yesterday, it really only has an economy supported by fleecing tourists, coastal retirees, and councils sending its druggies and alkies away to the seaside, where it is cheap to support them. It is the sort of place I can easily imagine, in the dead of winter, at midnight, locals ingesting hallucinogenic mushrooms, and cavorting about in Goat’s Head masks, overseen by a bankrupt, debauched member of the local petty squirearchy. You may have seen documentaries about this subject, such as The Wicker Man, The Blood on Satan’s Claw or the latter part of Kill List. Or perhaps read some of the estimable Mr Dennis Wheatley’s parables on this particular British subculture. Margate would undoubtedly be twinned with Arkham or possibly Sunnydale, with which it shares many characteristics, if anyone who could find America on a map hadn’t left a long time ago for better prospects. A Historical Note: After Stonehenge was raised on Salisbury Plain by Great Cthulhu himself, Beast People started swimming across from their breeding grounds in New England, (circa 500 B.C.E.), and interbreeding with locals. At first their sanctuary was on the Welsh Isle of Anglesea (Mona). When the Roman Army invaded, their soldiers were so distressed at what they found at the Druidic Sacrifice sites that they (almost) eradicated the worship of Great Old Ones and drove it underground. Unusually, those Romans who had witnessed the aftermath of Unspeakable Rites, didn’t write about it and we have little in the way of records – which is telling as normally the documentation-loving Latins loved to write copious scrolls about the strange practices they found amongst the barbarians they conquered. The Shell Grotto in Margate Discovered in 1835, under an innocuous cottage, this is an underground temple, created from millions of sea-shells, in ornate and complex patterns. It must have taken years to create. It is unknown how old it is. Guidebooks describe it as a “Folly”. I completely disagree with that interpretation. Follies were constructed from the late 16th Century onwards in Britain, as a display of conspicuous consumption by the elite. It was one-upmanship – there were no superyachts to buy so this was a way of displaying you had money to burn. They weren’t secret. They were a public extravagance, where you could have parties to show them off. Exclusively to your fellow elites – the hoi-polloi would only be there as servants. They were mainly constructed in the gardens of great manor houses and palaces. The Shell Grotto, is hidden, underground, and is below a very small, ordinary cottage. We know some of the mosaics were created above ground (easier to do) and then lowered into place – in total secrecy. Most of the sea-shells were sourced locally- edible variants, but strangely a huge number of non-edible shells were transported from Southampton (around 120 miles /160 km away) on the South Coast, presumably by coastal barge or horse and cart. This is a huge undertaking, not something one person or a small number of people could do. So I think this is an abandoned Temple to the Great Old Ones. You could easily have an interesting evening summoning interdimensional beasts to do your bidding, and its cheaper than going to the pub. There’s nothing else to do in Margate on a dull winter’s evening. I assume Cthulhu cultists have some way of recognising each other, a bit like freemasons, eh @Mord? (Please don’t give any secrets away, it would be a bit of a loss to the forum if you were cast into an abyss or eaten alive by Rhan-Tegoths). Whatever led to its abandonment, I don’t know, although usually if one bursts in on Followers of the Great Old Ones when they are in the middle of opening a portal to call Shub Niggurath, they get a bit agitated. Quite frankly, if you don’t slaughter them all and close the gateway, the evening tends to go downhill from there. So probably some intrepid monster hunters sneaked in and rendered the dimensional vortex inoperable and the temple was of no further use. Possibly they died in the attempt or lost their sanity so no records would exist. *note: calling Cthulhu Cultists insane, bloodthirsty maniacs in thrall to evil god-like alien creatures, is quite frankly, language that has no place in 21st Century discourse in a civilised forum like ours. Please remember to treat the Community of Evil Worshippers with the respect and tolerance you would extend to any other minority.