The Horniman Museum's aquarium is one of London's oldest surviving aquaria. Frederick Horniman is said to have been inspired to construct an aquarium in the Museum after viewing the Horniman Aquarium at the Great Exhibition site. Founded in 1903 under the supervision of eminent zoologist and ethnographer Alfred Cort Haddon (1855-1940). Haddon was a correspondent of Phillip Henry Gosse (1810-1888), the Victorian naturalist consulted by Charles Darwin.
An engraving from Gosse's 'Actinologia Britannica' (1860) showing Stomphia churchiae (found by Anne Church using a 'turbot dredge' in Loch Long) bottom left. Anne Church has been fictionalised as a character in Ann Lingard's novel 'Seaside Pleasures'
From P H Gosse's 'Actinologia Britannica', 1860; Gosse stripped off and plunged into a pool at Ilfracombe to collect the 'scarlet and gold madrepore, Balanophyllia' ( a cup coral), on the right of the picture.His friend Rev Charles Kingsley found the species later at Lundy. (More in Ann Lingard's novel, Seaside Pleasures.)
Sam Puckey's shell house, created circa 1940 in The Warren, Polperro, UK
Shell cornice, by Blott Kerr-Wilson; her favourite shells are mussel-shells. Read more, and see more images of mussels growing in the Solway Firth on http://www.solwayshorestories.co.uk/shore-stories/the-mussel-beds/
From the Illustrated London News 1854; in 1853 PH Gosse helped set up 7 tanks or marine 'aquaria' at the Zoological Society of London. 'How picturesque, how beautiful, how strange, how fantastic, how luxuriant', the ILN enthused.
The Contarini building in Venice: compare with the wentletrap shell. Photo by Rachel Lackie