||Marsden Bay, South Shields
||Valentine and Son's Ltd, Dundee and London
||138mm x 88mm
||The Grotto was originally built in the 1830s by local personality, Peter Allan, who excavated 15 rooms out of the cliff face at Marsden Bay. Some of the rooms were used as a home for Peter’s family while the rest became a tavern. On his death in 1848 his wife took over the establishment. In 1898 Messrs. C Vaux and Sons took over the lease. They bought the property outright in 1938 and made improvements to the premises which cost £12,000. The renovations included the addition of a large lounge with a restaurant above it and an electric lift with observation windows which looked out over the bay.