Georgian gentility at The Kymin's Round House

The Kymin Round House at sunset, Monmouth, South Wales

The Kymin’s Round House is an unusual, quirky building, which whilst small in stature sits prominently above the town of Monmouth, South Wales, and takes in spectacular, far-reaching views.

Georgian gentility

With its circular, castellated design and diminutive size, the Grade II* listed Round House almost looks as though it’s been plucked from a child’s playground castle, and indeed the Kymin could be described as once the playground of the local gentry.

Towards the end of the 18th century, a group of gentlemen were in the habit of meeting at local beauty spots to picnic. It’s understood that in 1793, one gentleman suggested the Kymin and it proved so popular that each week the group decided to return.

The British weather soon put an end to such frivolity. But this obstacle only prompted the group to start up a collection to raise funds to build a banqueting house where they could picnic whatever the weather.

Laying the foundations

The first stone was laid on 1 May 1794 and the Round House was completed in 1796.

Consisting of two storeys with just one room on each floor, the Round House included a kitchen downstairs and the ‘banqueting apartment’ above.

The fortunes of the Round House, along with the rest of the Kymin, fluctuated over the next 100 years, and in 1902 was bought by public subscription for £300 and given to the National Trust.

A special place – forever, for everyone

Today the Round House is a place to relax and enjoy the tranquillity of a bygone era, to discover the history of those whose vision created this charming and unique place, and to enjoy fantastic views stretching far into the Brecon Beacons and Malvern Hills.