Towering hillsides on Offa's Dyke Path

Alot to Offa - The Kymin

12th December 2014

Within my 'Alot to Offa' blogs, I will be picking a special location along the Trail each time and giving you a bit of background about the site or feature of interest. For my first one I have picked The Kymin, just to the south of Monmouth.

 

The Kymin

With breathtakingly beautiful views, peaceful atmosphere and fascinating history, one of Monmouth’s most famous landmarks – The Kymin – is well worth a visit and the Offa’s Dyke path goes straight through the site. One of Monmouth’s most famous landmarks lies high above the town and boasts commanding views of Wales and England, and is definitely one of the Trails key veiwpoints.

The Kymin, which became the first National Trust site in Wales and is included on the register of parks and gardens of special historic interest in Wales and lies within the Wye Valley AONB.

Visitors can tread in the footsteps of Lord Horatio Nelson and Lady Emma Hamilton who visited The Kymin for the views over 200 years ago and tour the small-two-storey circular Georgian banqueting house, known as The Round House, which stands on the top that was built in 1794 by a group of Monmouth’s gentlemen, the Monmouth Picnic Club. Its members used it as a venue to meet each week and dine together, and it featured a banqueting room on the first floor.

A Naval Temple was also built there in 1801 and is believed to be the only monument to an entire Navy anywhere in the world. The historic memorial and the Round House were built by the gentlemen of Monmouth to commemorate 16 of Britain’s greatest 18th century admirals, including Lord Nelson, and dedicated to the Duchess of Beaufort, the chief local landowner.

Lord Horatio Nelson was Britain’s greatest naval hero born in 1758. He was made a lieutenant in the Navy aged 19 and in 1793 was put in command of HMS Agamemnon where he met Sir William and Lady Hamilton, who later became his lover. He became a rear admiral of the Blue and was given a Knighthood. He is commemorated on the Naval Temple following his victory of Napoleon in the Battle of the Nile in 1798.

Lord Nelson visited the town in 1802, travelling down the River Wye on a visit to Pembrokeshire with Sir William and Lady Hamilton.

The site was originally a popular picnic site in the late 18th century and is still a popular venue for families enjoying lunch there today.

An ancient woodland known as Beaulieu Grove, cared for by the Woodland Trust, can be found next to the site and for families wanting to make a day of it there is a choice of activities on offer in the form of games on the lawn such as giant darts, giant Jenga, croquet and Viking Kubb.

The Kymin is a popular destination for walkers and features The Kymin Walk which is about a mile in length and visits the two Georgian buildings.

For more information visit www.nationaltrust.org.

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