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The Naval Temple with surrounding retaining wall

A Grade II Listed Building in Monmouth (Trefynwy), Monmouthshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.8086 / 51°48'30"N

Longitude: -2.6864 / 2°41'11"W

OS Eastings: 352770

OS Northings: 212436

OS Grid: SO527124

Mapcode National: GBR FM.X87Z

Mapcode Global: VH86V.DS4X

Entry Name: The Naval Temple with surrounding retaining wall

Listing Date: 27 June 1952

Last Amended: 10 August 2005

Grade: II

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 2221

Building Class: Commemorative

Location: On the top of the hill overlooking the town on the east side which is approached from the Staunton Road.

County: Monmouthshire

Town: Monmouth

Community: Monmouth (Trefynwy)

Community: Monmouth

Locality: The Kymin

Traditional County: Monmouthshire

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History

1800. Erected by Admiral Sir Charles Thompson, MP for Monmouth with other members of The Kymin Club and dedicated to the Duchess of Beaufort, daughter of Admiral Boscawen. The temple was erected as a tribute to the British Navy and the sixteen admirals with notable victories in the Seven Years War and the war against revolutionary France. Rebuilt by the National Trust in 1987 without the previous timber verandah and replacing the missing plaques and other details. The Temple was twice visited by Nelson, who commended Monmouth for having erected such a monument, during his journeys to Milford Haven in 1802. It should be noted that the plaque to Parker 1801 (Battle of Copenhagen) post-dates the construction of the building and it can be surmised that this was added to the temple before Nelson's visit in 1802 since he was unlikely to have 'turned a blind eye' to it being missing. Monmouthshire County Council gave the building to the National Trust in 1902 after a public subscription.

Exterior

Square stone structure formed of two back-to-back porticos in antis of unfluted and unbased Doric columns. These, and the plain side walls carry a moulded cornice and a large plinth, a decreasing roof of stone slates then supports an arch flanked by anchors, and this, in turn, carries a replica statue of Britannia. Around sides of the plinth there are plaques commemorating sixteen admirals and their victories in date order. These are Hawke 1759, Rodney 1782, Gell 1793, Hood 1793, Howe 1794, Cornwallis 1795, Bridport 1795, Duncan 1797, Warren 1798, Keith 1799, Mitchell 1799, Parker 1801 (existing at resurvey 1974), and Boscawen 1759, Vincent 1797, Thompson 1797 and Nelson 1798 (replaced in 1987). The plaques are red, white or blue according to the colour of the admiral's squadron. The portico entablatures carry inscriptions 'BRITAIN'S GLORY' (west) and 'GLORIOUS VICTORY' (east). There are also two oval inscribed marble panels, one of which explains the monument

THIS NAVAL TEMPLE
WAS ERECTED AUGUST 1ST 1800
TO PERPETUATE THE NAMES OF THOSE
NOBLE ADMIRALS
WHO DISTINGUISHED THEMSELVES BY THEIR
GLORIOUS VICTORIES FOR ENGLAND
IN THE LAST AND PRESENT WARS
AND IS RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED TO
HER GRACE THE DUTCHESS OF BEAUFORT
DAUGHTER OF
ADMIRAL BOSCAWEN


while the other refers to two lost paintings, 'The Standard of Great-Britain waving triumphant over the fallen and captive of France, Spain and Holland' (concerning the Seven Years War) and 'The Glorious and Ever Memorable Battle of the Nile'.

The temple is surrounded by a roughly circular retaining wall of rubblestone with a single opening into the temple enclosure. It suggests that it provided a terrace for contemplation of the remarkable view, which is no longer available due to the tree growth since.

Reasons for Listing

Included for its special historic interest as a very early war memorial and as an important landscape feature.

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