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Visiting the Clytha Estate

A view across grassy parkland on the Clytha Park Estate, where several black sheep are grazing. The house can be seen in the background, partially hidden by a mature tree.
Sheep grazing on the Clytha Park Estate | © National Trust Images

This classic 18th-century landscaped park combines fine architecture, grand sweeping views and tranquil countryside in a timeless atmosphere. Put on your walking shoes and go exploring on the Clytha Estate.

Things to see on the Clytha Estate

Clytha is situated to the east of the market town of Abergavenny where steep valley sides give way to a broader, flatter landscape. It was originally built with money from the coalfields and ironworks of the nearby valleys and includes a large house, gardens, cottages, farms and parkland.

Clytha House

The house is Grade I listed and was rebuilt in the classic Greek style in the 1830s by architect Edward Haycock. It’s probably the last ‘Greek-style’ house in Wales.

The square exterior, faced in Bath stone, opens into the most impressive room in the house – the entrance hall. It's oval shape, with a magnificent concave ceiling supported by seven Tuscan pillars painted to simulate yellow marble.

There's a second hall beyond this, with a room on either side, while a cantilevered stairway leads to a first-floor gallery that runs right around the four sides of a square hall.

Clytha Castle

Clytha Castle is considered one of the outstanding 18th-century follies of Wales. It was built in the 1790s by William Jones of Clytha House with the purpose of ‘relieving a mind afflicted by the loss of a most excellent wife’, after his wife Elizabeth died.

The Grade I listed castle is L-shaped with a battlement screen wall connecting two stone circular towers and a square tower in the middle. The outside is rendered with Bath stone plinths, sills, cornices and decorative friezes, panels and battlement parapets and was designed by architect and garden designer John Davenport.

Other important buildings

Davenport also probably designed the walled garden, which was built by William Jones as part of estate improvements in the 1780s. There are Tudor-style arched entrances on the north and east sides.

Lodge House

The Lodge House, situated close to the arched gateway, was built around 1840 and is faced in Bath stone and includes Tudor and Gothic designs.

Chapel and Ffynnonau farms

Chapel and Ffynnonau farms are both Grade II listed and date from the 17th century. Chapel Farm house was built onto an early 16th-century building, with outbuildings from the 18th and 19th centuries.

Coed y Bwnydd Iron Age hillfort

The largest and possibly best-preserved Iron Age hillfort in Monmouthshire, with a history of human involvement stretching back more than 2,000 years.

Situated high on a wooded promontory, 196 metres above sea level, overlooking the village of Bettws Newydd and close to the Clytha Estate.

Nationally recognised

Its steep and densely wooded slopes give way to a trivallate fort where the well-preserved ramparts enclose a circular wooded centre and are so well preserved, that the fort’s importance is nationally recognised by its status as a Scheduled Ancient Monument (SAM).

Coed y Bwnydd was given to us by Captain Geoffrey Crawshaw in memorial to his friend Sergeant Arthur Owen, who died in a flying accident in the Second World War.

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A view across grassy parkland on the Clytha Park Estate, where several black sheep are grazing. The house can be seen in the background, partially hidden by a mature tree.

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