Chard is a town and a civil parish in the English county of Somerset. It lies on the A30 road near the Devon border, 15 miles (24 km) southwest of Yeovil. The parish has a population of approximately 13,000 and, at an elevation of , it is the southernmost and highest town in Somerset. Administratively Chard forms part of the District of South Somerset.
The name of the town was Cerden in 1065 and Cerdre in the Domesday Book of 1086. Before the Norman Conquest, Chard was held by the Bishop of Wells. The town's first charter was from King John in 1234. Most of the town was destroyed by fire in 1577, and it was further damaged during the English Civil War. A 1663 will by Richard Harvey of Exeter established Almshouses known as Harvey's Hospital. In 1685 Chard was one of the towns in which Judge Jeffreys held some of the Bloody Assizes after the failure of the Monmouth Rebellion.
Textile manufacture was important to the town during the Middle Ages. Chard is the birthplace of powered flight as in 1848 John Stringfellow first demonstrated that engine-powered flight was possible. Percy and Ernist Petter who formed Westland Aircraft Works bared witness to some of Stringfellow's demonstrations in Chard and often asked for help in the formation of Westland's first aircraft development factory on the outskirts of Yeovil. AgustaWestland now holds the Henson and Stringfellow lecture yearly for the RAeS. James Gillingham developed articulated artificial limbs. Chard is a key point on the Taunton Stop Line, a World War II defensive line.
The Chard Canal was a tub boat canal built between 1835 and 1842. Chard Branch Line was created in 1860 to connect the two London and South Western Railway and Bristol and Exeter Railway main lines and ran through Chard until 1965.
Local folklore relates that the town has a very unusual and unique feature, a stream running along either side of Fore Street, one stream eventually flows into the Bristol Channel and the other eventually reaches the English Channel. Chard Reservoir, approximately a mile north east of the town, is a Local Nature Reserve, and Snowdon Hill Quarry a geological Site of Special Scientific Interest. Major employers in the town include Numatic International Limited and the Oscar Mayer food processing plant.There are a range of sporting and cultural facilities, with secondary education being provided at Holyrood Academy; religious sites including the Church of St Mary the Virgin which dates from the late 11th century.