Place:Chard, Somerset, England

Alt namesCrimchardsource: hamlet in parish
Fortonsource: hamlet in parish
Furnhamsource: settlement in parish
Hornsburysource: settlement in parish
Perry Streetsource: settlement in parish
South Chardsource: hamlet in parish
Tatworthsource: hamlet in parish
TypeAncient parish, Civil parish, Borough (municipal)
Coordinates50.883°N 2.967°W
Located inSomerset, England
See alsoKingsbury Hundred, Somerset, Englandhundred in which it was located
South Somerset District, Somerset, Englanddistrict municipality covering the area since 1974
Contained Places
Forde Abbey
the text in this section is based on an article in Wikipedia.

Chard is a civil parish and a municipal borough in Somerset, England. 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 121 metres (397 ft), Chard is one of the highest towns in Somerset as well as being the southernmost. Since 1974 Chard has formed, administratively, part of the district of South Somerset. Chard was a municipal borough between 1835 and 1974.

The name of the town was Cerden in 1065 and Cerdre in the Domesday Book of 1086. After 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 (1642-1651). 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.

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.

Chard was a municipal borough from 1835 until 1974, but in reality it was a small town within a large parish of the same name. The central urban area is now known as Chard Town. The rural area included a number of hamlets including Crimchard (just to the west of Chard itself), Hornsbury and Furnham to the north, and Forton and a group of hamlets named Tatworth, South Chard and Perry Street to the south.

Image:Chard Rural 1900 small.png


Chard was originally a parish in the Kingsbury Hundred, one of the hundreds or early subdivisions of the county of Somerset.

In 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, all urban and rural districts across England were abolished and counties were reorganized into metropolitan and non-metropolitan districts. Chard joined the non-metropolitan South Somerset District.

Research Tips

  • The Somerset Heritage Centre (incorporating what was formerly the Somerset Record Office and the Somerset Local Studies Library) can be found at its new location at Langford Mead in Taunton. It has an online search facility leading to pages of interest, including maps from the First and Second Ordnance Survey (select "Maps and Postcards" from the list at the left, then enter the parish in the search box).
    The Heritage Centre has an email address:
  • Three maps on the A Vision of Britain through Time website illustrate the changes in political boundaries over the period 1830-1945. All have expanding scales and on the second and third this facility is sufficient that individual parishes can be inspected.
  • Somerset Hundreds as drawn in 1832. This map was prepared before The Great Reform Act of that year. Note the polling places and representation of the various parts of the county.
  • Somerset in 1900, an Ordnance Survey map showing rural districts, the boundaries of the larger towns, the smaller civil parishes of the time, and some hamlets and villages in each parish
  • Somerset in 1943, an Ordnance Survey map showing the rural districts after the changes to their structure in the 1930s
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Chard, Somerset. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.