We report the hydrothermal synthesis and characterization of a layered cobalt phenylphosphonate. Unlike most metal phosphonates reported to date, the structure was solved by single crystal X-ray diffraction (SC-XRD). Co(ii) centres are hexa-coordinated by oxygen and the octahedra corner-share into a layer. The layers are capped by phenylphosphonate groups, where the phenyl groups define a hydrophobic bilayer region. The material was also characterized by powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and SQUID (superconducting quantum interference device) magnetometry. The material undergoes an antiferromagnetic transition at a relatively low Néel temperature of 4.0 K, while the Curie-Weiss temperature of -76.5 K reflects the low-dimensionality of the magnetic structure. The effective magnetic moment of 5.01 micro(B) per Co(2+) verifies a high-spin configuration and an octahedral coordination of the metal centres. This layered material was correctly predicted in the literature from powder data, adds to the structural diversity of the cobalt phosphonates, and may be useful as an intercalation or exfoliation compound.