The Kymin & Round House
National Trust
Kymin Hill
Monmoutshire NP25 3SF Wales
The Kymin is a wooded hill overlooking the Welsh border town of Monmouth. It is located approximately one mile east of Monmouth, on the eastern side of the River Wye and adjacent to the border with Gloucestershire's Forest of Dean.
The summit of the hill, about 800 feet (244 metres) above sea level, is known for its neo-classical Naval Temple built in 1800, and The Round House built in 1794. On a fine day the views are magnificent and the site is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The Woodland Trust provides access to the woods and is currently undertaking research into the history of the area.
The Round House
This building is a white, two-storey round tower with a crenulated roof, similar to a folly but it did have a practical purpose.
It was funded and built by a local group of 18th century influential gentlemen known as the Monmouth Picnic Club or Kymin Club. The members of the Kymin Club were drawn from "the principal Gentlemen of Monmouth and its vicinity", and met each week "for the purpose of dining together, and spending the day in a social and friendly manner".
The Club wanted a venue suitable for their regular meetings, dining and events, especially in the summer months. They chose the top of The Kymin hill for the building and set about raising funds. The subscription list was headed by the local landowner, the Duke of Beaufort, and eight Members of Parliament.
The Round House was designed and built with kitchens on the ground floor and a banqueting room above. During fine weather powerful telescopes were fitted on the roof to fully take in the views. It was claimed that nine counties could be seen from the roof - Gloucestershire, Monmouthshire, Glamorganshire, Breconshire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Radnorshire, Shropshire and Somerset.
A bowling green was laid outside, and there were also stables. On the steep wooded escarpment beneath the house was laid out the Beaulieu Grove, a series of walks provided with seats from which to contemplate the views.
The Club occasionally made the house available to other suitable parties for a fee. Access to the site was improved after 1799 by the construction of a new carriage road up the hill.
The bowling green was later used for other sports, including hockey, and as a showground during major celebrations such as that for the centenary of the Battle of Trafalgar in 1905.
The landscape features incorporated within the woodland at Beaulieu Grove were apparently destroyed early in the 19th century, and the building was given a Grade II Listing in 1952.
Round House Opening Days & Times
The Round House is open on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays from 11:00 to 16:00 during the spring, summer and autumn. Light refreshments are available.
Contact & Further Information
The Kymin Dash
This event is a cross country running hill race held annually. The course covers about 7 miles (11.3 km), circling Monmouth town and both ascending and descending the Kymin by forest tracks, field paths and minor roads.  For further information on Kimin Dash go to  Web:  Kimin Dash 
Getting There
The Kymin is accessed by a winding road climbing up off the A4136 Monmouth to Forest of Dean road. The area is managed and conserved by the National Trust and there is a car park near the summit with an easy walk to both the Naval Temple and the Roundhouse.

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