Kymin Road NP25 3SF
The Kymin is the local name given to a prominent hill overlooking the town of Monmouth, in Monmouthshire, Wales. It is found around one mile east of the town, on the eastern side of the winding and iconic River Wye. Its location at the edge of the Wye valley makes the Kymin adjacent to the borders of both the Forest of Dean and England.
The Kymin and its nine acres of pleasure grounds, stand proudly at the top of the hill, and overlooks both Monmouth itself and the wider vistas of the beautiful Wye Valley.
Once part of the vast Monmouthshire estate owned by the Duke of Beaufort, the Kymin’s fortunes have changed greatly over the past 200 years or so. It has been a popular picnic site since the late 18th century, with building on the prominent Round House starting work in 1794.
The Kymin is also home to an unusual temple-like structure dedicated to key members of the British Navy. The Kymin Club arranged for the Naval Temple to be constructed from money from public subscription in around 1800. The temple is more of a folly structure, and is not designed as a place of worship, but rather to celebrate some of the most widely revered British admirals and victories of the time.
The Temple was commenced in 1800 to commemorate the second anniversary of the British naval victory at the Battle of the Nile in 1798. On it are listed sixteen of the Admirals serving in the British Royal Navy at the time, who had delivered some of the most significant victories in major sea battles around the globe to that date.
The temple has been restored on a number of occasions, including the most recent in 2012, following damage caused by a storm. The latest restoration included work on the statue of Britannia, the re-painting of the two seascapes and the re-installation of the gates.
Also at the summit of the Kymin is the Roundhouse, a white round tower, with two storeys and a crenellated roof, looking similar to a folly, without any purpose or planned design. The club members of the time wanted a venue suitable for their regular meetings and events. The building was therefore designed with kitchens on the ground floor and a banqueting room above.
Today the Kymin is the perfect place to enjoy a picnic against the stunning backdrop of the Wye Valley and the Brecon Beacons, while enjoying some tranquility of the countryside not far outside of the town of Monmouth.
Accessed is via a winding road, named simply Kymin Road after the hill, climbing away from the A4136 road connecting Monmouth to the Forest of Dean. The area is now owned and managed by the National Trust, with a car park near the summit making it just a short and simple walk to both the Temple and the Roundhouse, which is open on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays during the spring, summer and autumn.
The Kymin Dash is an annual cross country running hill race held annually. The local course covers a distance of around 7 miles, covering both the town and the Kymin via a maze of forest tracks, field paths and minor roads.
The Woodland Trust is currently undertaking research into the further history and archaeology of the area, and provides access to the woods that cover the Kymin. The views on a clear day from the top of the hill have been described as magnificent.