Like many notable early settlers Thomas & Andrew Chirnside, the original owners of the estate, were members of the Acclimatisation Society, an organisation which introduced several European flora and fauna species to the Australian landscape.
Located within an ornamental lake, the grotto is a traditional component of 18th century garden design and one of few examples known in Australia. It is quite hidden from view here on an island in the lake.
The Chirnside family richly adorned the interior with an elaborate design of seashells, sheep knuckles, animal teeth and pebbles, which can still be seen today (I will explore the grotto another time)
Afternoon tea was frequently served within the grotto during warm summer months, with family members and guests enjoying the cooler temperatures inside. You can cross the walking bridge and explore this rare beauty.
Werribee Park, Vic. Australia
Image: © Gary Light
Creative Commons: (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)