Talacre Abbey was built 1824-9 by Thomas Jones, architect, for Sir Edward Mostyn, on the site of an earlier house. In 1919 the Mostyn family sold the estate by auction and in 1921 it was occupied by a community of Benedictine nuns, who moved out in 1988
The cemetery, unfortunately is abandoned and unkempt.
The grotto was added to the gardens in final quarter of the C19 and is first shown on the 1899 Ordnance Survey.
Built partly into the natural rock, and partly using rubble and mortar to create a rock-cut appearance. The grotto has 3 well-hewn entrances, while its interior has a central chamber open to the sky, and passages with niches, carved seats and a number of carved grotesque figures in the walls. The chief of these is inside the lower entrance, and comprises a heraldic lion (representing the Mostyn family) with its mouth open, and openings at its back for lighting fires that would send flames and smoke from the lion's mouth.<
Took me awhile to find this one, saying good morning to a herd of cows grazing as I passed through their territory, scrambling through nettles and brambles, climbing through a hole in a wall and leap frogging a barbed wire fence.
Enjoy the visit, I did !