The Kymin, Monmouth
The hill east of Monmouth is called The Kymin. It has been known locally as a picnic spot since the late 18th century, when it was frequented by members of the Monmouth Picnic Club. The Round House, which features a castellated top, was erected in 1794 as a banqueting venue for the club. Lord Nelson had breakfast here with Sir William and Lady Hamilton in August 1802, while travelling back to England from a visit to the Hamilton estates in Milford Haven.
The Naval Temple nearby was built in 1800 by public subscription. It features a statue of Britannia sitting on her customary rock, a traditional symbol of British strength and unity. Stone carvings depict Lord Nelson’s first commission and his victory at the Battle of the Nile.
The Kymin was used in the 19th century for games and entertainments, including shows and donkey rides. The lawn was created in the late 18th century for bowling.
Today the National Trust looks after the Round House and surrounding area. It organises events at The Kymin, including gatherings of teddy bears.
Wild boar have been spotted at The Kymin. They died out in Britain about seven centuries ago but were reintroduced to the nearby Forest of Dean in 2004. By 2007 they were so numerous that some were culled to avoid damage to forestry.
About the place-name:
The Kymin is probably an anglicised form of the Welsh cymin or comin, meaning “a common” (at The Kymin in Penarth, near Cardiff, there’s definite evidence of common land). Historical evidence seems to be lacking before the late 18th century, and Monmouth is in an area where English influence was strong as early as the 12th century. It’s possible that the name here has an unidentified English origin.
With thanks to Richard Morgan, of the Welsh Place-Name Society
Postcode: NP25 3SF