Scott's Grotto

Useful Information

Location: Ware, Hertfordshire. Between number 28 and number 34 Scotts Road, Ware. Scott's Road is next to the college on the A119 to Hertford.
Open: APR to SEP Sat, Bank Hol 14-16:30. [2005]
Fee: Free - but a donation of GBP 1 is suggested.
Light: none, bring torch.
Guided tours:
Bibliography: David Perman (1984): Scott's Grotto, A Ware Society Guide, 12pp, survey and illus.
Harriet Crawford (1979): Subterranean Britain, Aspects of Underground Archaeology. John Baker, London, 201 pp numerous illus. pp 182-183
Address: Scott's Grotto, 28-34 Scotts Road, Ware, Hertfordshire, SG12 9JQ.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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1768 John Scott inherited Amwell House and builT the grotto. It is thought to have cost GBP 10,000 and taken 30 years to complete.
1773 visited by Samuel Johnson.
1783 John Scott's daughter, Maria, inherited her father's estate.
1863 Maria dies and the property was sold and Scotts Road was built.
1960 The grotto was then part of the garden for a large house on Scotts Road but this was demolished in the mid 1960s and the present modern houses were built.
1974 East Hertfordshire District Council acquired the land and carried out basic repairs on the grotto.
1983 The Ware Society, a local voluntary group opens the grotto to the public.
1991 The restored grotto was reopened April 1991 by Lord Montagu of Beaulieu.


Scott's Grotto is a series of interconnected chambers, extending some 20 m into the chalk hillside. 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 main chamber is called the Council Chamber and this is highly decorated and has seats inset into it's wall. One of these seats even has the word FROG written in shells, referring to his wife, Sarah Frogley

Text by Tony Oldham (2004). With kind permission.