Helmstedter Partnerschaftsverein

Chard (England)

The official twinning charter with Chard in England dates back to 12th April 1980 and is therefore the second oldest of Helmstedt's twin towns. Informal contacts to the region around Chard (County of Somerset) however had already been established since the late 50th.



Chard is situated approximately 240 km west of London within the County of Somerset, which is an area of outstanding natural beauty. The English Channel is only 20 km south of it.


Places of interest

The Chard area offers the tourist a wide variety of possible attractions. The town has an interesting local history museum. There is a quiet walk around the nature reserve at the reservoir. A car ride away will find many pretty coastal towns and villages, stately English homes with beautiful gardens, Cheddar Gorge, caves with secrets to discover and historic cathedrals at Wells and Exeter. Within easy reach is the city of Bath, a famous spa town based upon its Roman Baths and elegant buildings, and Bristol – a vibrant modern city that developed out of its role as an important commercial centre and trading port.


Local importance

Chard has a population of approximately 14.000 and is Somerset's highest town at an altitude of 121 m.

Chard's economy was based on wool industry in the old days. Today many people find jobs in the production of domestic appliances such as the Henry vacuum cleaners. Tourism has gained more and more importance through structural change. The region is also famous for its orchards. Hundreds of tons of locally grown apples are annually pressed for the production of the famous Somerset drink - cider.



Originally known as Cerden (house on the chart or rough ground) Chard was given its first charter in 1265.

Most of the town was destroyed by fire in 1577, but rebuilt. It was further damaged during the English Civil War in the subsequent century.

Chard claims to be the birthplace of powered flight as aeronautical pioneer John Stringfellow demonstrated his steam powered "Aerial Steam Carriage" there in 1848.

Today Chard is a charming, historic and vivid town surrounded by many villages with nice pubs to welcome you.


Chronology of the twinning

Visits take place in turns yearly.

Responsible for Chard and Northam

Harald Spitzer
Vitréstr. 10
38350 Helmstedt
Tel. 05351/40955