Fore Stree

I find that the name Wessex is getting taken up everywhere and it would be a pity for us to lose the right to it for lack of asserting it. - Thomas Hardy

Saxon England

  The Wessaxens came here for a visit 1513 years ago and liked it so much they have stayed.

website: http:// www.wessextouristboard.org.uk           Tel: +44(0) 845 868 2810          Fax : +44(0) 845 862 1954     Click here to contact us 
  Welcome to Wessex  . Press Control+B to Bookmark this site for later reference.
  To Chard, where the Duke of Monmouth was crowned "King" in 1685  
& The Birthplace of Powered Flight in 1848
 This site is now 9 years old &  there have been over 217  million page visits to our sites.
 Since January 2008 we are now combined into the larger www.www.wessextouristboard.org.uk site

 ( over 2 million in 2006 , over 2.6 million   in 2007 &  30 million  in 2008 and over 79 million  in 2009 & 2010)
Chard is an epicentre for Somerset, Devon, Dorset and Wessex.  Tourists, Visitors and Business People are most welcome in Chard.
 This page is a little about Chard and Wessex

"I am James Scott, First Duke of Monmouth and the son of His Royal Majesty Charles II.
All those who join me in my quest against the Catholic Usurper, James Duke of York, my father's brother and his murderer, will gain Royal favour when I take my rightful place as Englandís Ruler."
 Duke of Monmouth Crowned King in Chard 1685
In Memory of the People of Chard executed for following me:
   Simon Cross, William Davy, James Dennett,Henry Earterbrook,Edward Foote, William Godfrey,Humphrey Hitchcock, John Jervis,John Knight, Abraham Pill,Edward Warren & William Williams.
James Scott Duke of

The Scene of the famous Chard Lace Riot. Click here for the riot
 Chard Coat of Arms
Chard Coat of Arms

Click on your interest
On The
5s The British Handball Game Badminton Boxing Cricket Curling
Equestrian Football Golf Horseracing Ice Hockey
Ice Skating Lawn Tennis
Martial Arts
Motor Racing On The Beach
Rackets Real Tennis Roller Skating
Rowing Rugby
Sailing Ski-ing Squash Rackets 360 Ball
The 21st Century Game
Famous Wessaxens
Berkshire(BRK) Cheshire(CHS) Cornwall(CON)  Derbyshire(DBY) Devon(DEV)
Dorset(DOR) Essex(ESS) Gloucestershire(GLS) Hampshire(HAM) Herefordshire(HEF)
 Kent(KEN) Leicestershire(LEI) London Tourist Guide Middlesex(MDX) Nottinghamshire(NTT)
Oxfordshire(OXF) Shropshire(SAL) Somerset(SOM) Staffordshire(STS) Surrey(SRY)
Sussex(SSX) Wiltshire(WIL) Worcestershire(WOR) Bridgwater Tourist Guide Chard Tourist Guide
Taunton Tourist Guide Yeovil Tourist Guide
Fireworks Gardens& Garden Shows  of Wessex The UK Jewish Tourist Guide
Camping Theatre Hotels Guest Houses Pantomimes
 Pubs & Restaurants Camelot City
Check to see if your name has Wessex Roots Mendip Tourist Guide
Wessex Index
Cerdic Golfer Cricket
Cerdic Willie Wyvern

The Wyvern, the mythical symbol of the ancient kingdom of Wessex  appears on many county crests in the region today and in 1066 was carried at the Battle of Hastings. Chard was named in the Doomsday Book as Cerdre - the royal house of Cerdic. It was the original capital of Wessex. There has been a theory put forward that Cerdic, the first king of Wessex was King Arthur of Camelot. This is a compendium of the leading websites in Chard  & Wessex. Dont forget to read Cerdic's newspage by clicking on his picture above which was drawn by Juliet Davey & is her copywrite. For permission email:julietdavey@yahoo.co.uk
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Chard: The Ancient Capital 

The Compleat Website 

web site: www.wessextouristboard.org.uk
(formerly www.chardnet.co.uk)
Welcome toWessex Tourist Board Press Control+B to Bookmark this site for later reference. 
In conjunction with 
the Chard Trade Association 

An Informed Investor Publication
Chard Tourist Information Centre
Chard Town Council
Chard Museum 
Chard Historic Plaque Trail
tourist office
Boundary Wall
 Guildhall, Fore Street, TA20 Wessex
Telephone : 01460 260051
email: chardtic@chard.gov.uk
Monday to Friday 10-4 and
Saturdays 10-1 all year round.
  Holyrood Lace Mill, Holyrood Street
TA20 2YA Wessex
Telephone : 01460 260400 
Fax : 01460 260372 
Email : john.furze@chard.gov.uk
Godworthy House,  High Street,
TA20 1QL  Wessex
Open May to late October 10.30am- 4.30pm Monday to Friday 10am - 12.30pm Saturday 11am-3pm Sunday in July & August
Telephone : 01460 65091
further details click here
A Leisurely Walk around Chard taking in the Historic Sites is Recommended. Follow the Blue Plaques.
For Details Click Here

South Somerset District Council
Somerset County Council Local Member of Parliament The Chard Lace
Riot Audio Walk

Area West OfficesHolyrood Lace Mill, Holyrood Street
TA20 2YA Wessex
Telephone : 01460 62392 

County Hall, Taunton,
TA1 4DY Wessex
Telephone : 01823 355455
Fax : 01823 355 156
David Laws
David Laws MP,
94 Middle Street, 
Yeovil, BA20 1LT0 Wessex 
Telephone : 01935 423284
email : lawsd@parliament.uk
It's a Riot - In 1842 Chard was the Scene of the Famous Chard Lace Riot. Now YOU can join the rioters on The Chard Lace Riot Audio Walk. Simply go to the Tourist Office (Next to the Guildhall) and get the audio machine. Then you walk the three quarters of a mile round the 7 sites of the riots. (There is a resting bench at each site). Listen to A crowd of starving angry workers demanding their rights Civic Leaders in Panic..Tension Mounting ..... Call in The Cavalry.  History re-enacted & brought vividly to life.
chard hotels
chard guest
chard pubs
click here HOTELS (click here)

Click here GUEST HOUSES (Click here)
chef chef PUBS, INNS, BARS & RESTAURANTS( Click here)


CARAVAN PARKS (Click here)
(click here)
Click here MEDICAL

 To plan your journey by car or public transport click
click here
Road planner

POLICE: Avon & Somerset Constabulary 
Police Station  
Chard Police Station Silver Street
TA20 2AZ  Tel: 01275 818181

 Find local news, sport and entertainment near you with your local BBC Where I Live website. Choose your nearest location in Wessex & Cornwall:

Berkshire Bristol Cornwall Devon
Dorset Gloucestershire Hampshire Kent
Oxford Somerset Surrey & Sussex Wiltshire

 Click here to read the latest Humourous News & Views about Chard,
 its first King (Cerdic) and Wessex chit-chat


King2  We have a multitude of reference pages which were created some time ago and are now under reconstruction. So on here you will find dedicated pages to specialist activities in Wessex & Mercia. These include a list of Agricultural ,Horse Shows etc, The Wessex Hall of Fame, Michelin starred restaurants in Wessex,Seaside Resorts, List of Films made in Wessex, Wessex Names, Golf Clubs, Football Clubs, Rowing Clubs, Rugby Clubs, Ice Rinks andRacetracks . Campers & Caravanners have their own dedicated section too. I have even got my own page for readers letters and news snippets, mainly from my ancient capital Chard.  Contact Us by clicking here Guinivere

Wessex.me.uk are happy to introduce their chatroom for the locals in  Chard & Taunton. Just click on the  picture of Cerdic to the left to enter the room. Obviously this site is for locals with similar interests to  chat to each other. In order for the room to be a success it is necessary for you to tell your friends about the room so you can chat to each other.. It is hoped that it will become the networking centre for the locals of Taunton & Chard.

Chard Library

The Library Holyrood Lace Mill  Holyrood Street
Chard Somerset TA20 2YA

 Telephone: 0845 345 9177 Fax: 01460 68125 Email:chalib@somerset.gov.uk

Computers - More than 10  - DVDs - Fax Machine - Music CDs - Newspapers & Magazines - Photocopier - Black & White - Talking Books

The library shares an old lace mill with District Council offices. The building has been sympathetically redeveloped. Accessibility .Automatic Doors.Wheelchair Access to Building-Wheelchair Access to Public Areas -

A lift to the upper floor is available.
Monday:   09:00 - 17:00  
Tuesday:   09:00 - 17:00  
Wednesday:   Closed  
Thursday:   09:00 - 18:30  
Friday:   09:00 - 17:00  
Saturday:   09:30 - 13:00  
Sunday:   Closed  
General information on Wessex
THE WESSEX SOCIETY is dedicated to preserving and developing the cultural and linguistic heritage of Wessex. For more information please contact : WESSEX SOCIETY, 121 Worthing Road, Patchway, BRISTOL
WESSEX, BS34 5HU  telephone 0117 969 4947 email

THE WESSEX REGIONALIST PARTY/WESTSEAXE LANDRICESTAEFA is dedicated to the setting up of self government for WESSEX. For membership information or general enquiries please contact :
James Gunter, Secretary-General, WESSEX REGIONALISTS, 5 Rickyard Cottages, Broad Hinton, Swindon,
Wiltshire, Wessex ,SN4 9PS
tel 01793 731974 email wessexregionalists@regionalist.net
THE WESSEX CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION is an all party group that is forwarding the exciting plans of all the people of WESSEX to have their own parliament, with powers equal to those of Scotland. For more information please contact : WESSEX CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, 1/2 Atlantic Road South
WESTON-SUPER-MARE, Somerset, WESSEX  tel 01934 641334  email
Until borders are agreed with all the various regionalist groups in England WESSEX for our purposes consists of the counties of Somerset, Wiltshire, Dorset, Devon, Hampshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire

 Full Local Index
Cricket Club Readers Letters Local News Heartrendering Cerdic's Front Page
 Chardnet Services
Make Money
Wessex By The Sea - Compendium of Seaside Resorts
online shopping
Dorset List
Somerset Pages
Web Directory
 UK Villages.co.uk
Wessex Society


The weather and conditions in Taunton at this time are shown on the left. Enter other towns to find the weather conditions there To plan your journey by car or public transport click on to the Door-to-Door Journey Planner

Berry's Buses run from Ilminster to London and back daily
Berry's Bus
Chard is an historic Market Town on the Southern tip of Somerset. Within easy access to both the M5 and A303. The A353 links Chard to the M5. Just 13 miles from the coast at Lyme Regis and the County Town of Taunton. 150 miles from London.

Nearest airports : Bristol & Exeter
Nearest Railway Stations : Crewkerne & Taunton
Nearest London Coach : Ilminster
Nearest Ferry : Weymouth
Bold destinations offer access to express coach or train services.Click on a place name for details of how to get there by local bus:

Royal Blue
Royal Blue Coaches celebrating their 100th anniversary in Chard - Sunday 26th June 2005
 Buckland St Mary
 Bridgwater, College
 Combe St Nicholas
 Cricket St Thomas
 East Chinnock
 Forde Abbey
 Hatch Beauchamp
 Hazelbury Plucknett
 Hinton St George
 Lyme Regis
 Maiden Newton
 Taunton, Musgrove Park Hospital
 North Perrott
 Seavington St Mary
 Seavington St Michael
 South Perrott
 Staple Fitzpaine
 West Coker
More sights of Chard Known as the gateway to the South it has been both a lace & wool town. Originally an iron age settlement it was also on the famous Roman Fosseway. As an ancient borough it dates from the 13th century. Chard is an ideal place to locate a business and a treat for tourists. With a population of 12,000 it is an ideal place to savour en route to the resorts of Devon, Dorset & Cornwall. Sights of Chard


What we know today as the West Country - Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Dorset - was once covered by a vast sub-Roman kingdom called Dumnonia. The name derives from the Celtic Iron Age & Roman-British tribe of the Dumnonii who lived in the two latter counties and the western part of Somerset. The name is retained today in Devon, the Saxon modern version derived from Defnas (the men of Devon) via the late-Celtic form, Dyfneint. 

However, it is Cornwall, in the far west, which is usually thought of as the heartland of Celtic survival in this region. It appears to have been an area of semi-independence at times and, in later centuries, was certainly the last remnant of Dumnonia to be overrun by Saxon invaders. It is interesting to speculate about the name itself.   Cornwall may derive from the Celtic tribe of the Cornovii. A people of this name are known, from Roman sources, to have lived in the Outer Powys to Shropshire area of the later Wales and England. John Morris suggests a contingent was sent to the West Country in order to rule the land there and keep out the invading A similar situation occurred in North Wales. However, there is no evidence for this move west, and Cornish placenames of a similar age indicate that there was an independent tribe of Cornovii in the West Country. Corn is a common element in British place-name etymology, literally meaning Horn, but in this context a horn-shaped peninsula. It is the ideal description for Cornwall. The original name was Cerniw. The suffix is the same as the Saxon word Welsh, meaning foreign.

The Kings of Dumnonia, like their Saxon successors, were, no doubt, constantly on the move.  One of their main Royal residences, perhaps a "Capital" of sorts,Cadbury Castle in Somerset,  Somerset, probably named after the sixth century King Cado. Other important centres included Dunster and Tintagel. The status of these places may have changed over time. The latter, for instance, being very exposed, was probably a Summer residence only, perhaps sometimes left in the care of governors or duces like the legendary, Gorlois. At other times, it may have been the capital of the sub-kingdom of Cornwall. 
There were a number of other such kingdoms extant at various times in Dumnonia, though details are often obscure. Sub-division of the Kingdom followed the traditional split between sons. This was certainly the case with Cornwall and, possibly, the legendary Lyonesse, centred on the Scilly Isles. Other regions were taken over by exiled Royalty from elsewhere, seeking a new power-base, forcibly or otherwise  A little known kingdom, centred on the Hayle estuary, on the Penwith peninsula thus came under the control of King Tewdwr Mawr of Brittany; whilst a dynasty from Staffordshire established the sub-Kingdom of Glastening around Glastonbury in Somerset. Other regions on the eastern borders may have been completely independent of Dumnonia. Like the Kings of Caer-Baddan (Bath), the last of whom fell at the Battle of Dyrham in AD 577, or the otherwise unknown lords who have left ogham inscribed memorials at Wareham in Dorset.


Where The English Came FromSaxon England
  The Wessaxens came here for a visit 1513 years ago and liked it so much they have stayed. 

The Kings of Wessex
King Cynegils of Wessex - ©
                                    Nash Ford Publishing King Cynegils of Wessex - ©
                                    Nash Ford Publishing Baptism of King Cynegils of
                                    Wessex - © Nash Ford Publishing King Cwchelm of Wessex - © Nash
                                    Ford Publishing
Map of Wessex

Wessex is the name of the former kingdom which originated in south-central England and expanded to cover the whole of the south west. The Encyclopaedia Britannica lists Hampshire, Wiltshire, Somerset and Dorset as the "permanent nucleus" of Wessex.
Wessex began with the landing of Cerdic Von Wessex in Southampton Water in 495AD.
*Some experts believe that Cerdic was another name for King Arthur and that Camelot was in the area.

Don't let it be forgot,That once there was a spot, For one brief, shining moment that was known as Camelot


Wessex Rule

Cerdic  519-534
Cynric (son of Cerdic)  534-560
Ceawlin (son of Cynric) 560-591
 Ceol (son of Cutha) 591-97
Ceolwulf (son of Cutha)  597-611
Cynegils (son of Ceol)  611-643
Cenwalh (son of Cynegils)  643-645
Under Mercian Rule 645-648

Cenwalh (again)   648-672
Seaxburh (Queen of Cenwalh)  672-674
Cenfus(line of Ceolwulf) 674
Aescwine (son of Cenfus)  674-676
Centwine (son of Cynegils)  676-685
Caedwalla (line of Ceawlin) 685-688
Ine (line of Ceawlin)   688-726
Aethelheard (brother-in-law of Ine) 726-740
Cuthred (kinsman of Aethelheard) 740-756
Sigeberht   756-757
Cynewulf  757-786
Beorhtric 786-802
Wessex Rule claimants to the title, 'King of the English'
Egbert  802-839
Aethelwulf 839-858
Aethelbald 858-860
Aethelbert  860-865
Aethelred I 865-871
Alfred the Great 871-884

Cerdi Von

At the end of Roman Times , there were lots of Saxon Mercenaries ( hired soldiers) living in Britain. The Roman government had paid them to protect many of the towns.

Archaeologists have dug up many graves from this time. Some of the skeletons were wearing special belts and carrying spears. They are thought to be Saxon Mercenaries because similar objects have been found in Saxon graves in Europe.

We know of some Saxons who had British names, The most famous was Cerdic, the first King of Wessex. In Brythonic ( the British Language) his name is Ceredig.

Old documents say that, like other Saxons, he came to Britain from Germany or Denmark. However, Cerdic was probably born in Britain. His father was probably a Saxon Mercenary in Winchester ( in Hampshire) and his mother was a local Briton.
When the Roman Army left Britain, Cerdic would have been a respected officer in the mercenary army. He would have easily been able to make himself into a local ruler or King. He probably called for his Saxon friends and relatives from Germany and Denmark to join him

They set up the Saxon Kingdom of Wessex and made Chard their capital. Cerdic is described as an ealdorman who in 495 landed with his son Cynric in Hampshire, where he was attacked at once by the Britons. Nothing more is heard of him until 508, when he defeated the Britons with great slaughter.

Strengthened by fresh arrivals of Saxons, he gained another victory in 519 at Certicesford, a spot which has been identified with the modern Charford, and in this year took the title of king. Turning westward, Cerdic appears to have been defeated by the Britons in 520 at Badbury or Mount Badon, in Dorset, and in 527 yet another fight with the Britons is recorded. His last work was the conquest of the Isle of Wight, probably in the interest of some Jutish allies.

"ALFRED THE GREAT   (848?-899).

Alfred The Great

The course of English history would have been very different had it not been for King Alfred. He won renown both as a statesman and as a warrior and is justly called "the Great." 
   The England of Alfred's time was a country of four small Saxon kingdoms. The strongest was Wessex, in the south. Born in about 848, Alfred was the youngest son of Ethelwulf, king of WessexEach of Alfred's three older brothers, in turn, ruled the kingdom. Alfred was by temperament a scholar, and his health was never robust. 
Nevertheless in his early youth he fought with his brother Ethelred against Danish invaders. Alfred was 23 when Ethelred died, but he had already won the confidence of the army and was at once acclaimed king in 871. By this time the Danes, or Vikings, had penetrated to all parts of the island. Three of the Saxon Kingdoms: (Northumbria, Mercia, and East Anglia) had one after another fallen to the Danish invaders. 
   Under Alfred's leadership, the Saxons again found courage. The worst crisis came in the winter of 877, when the Danish king, Guthrum, invaded Wessex with his army. In 878 Alfred was defeated at Chippenham, where he was celebrating Christmas, and was forced to go into hiding. 
   A few months later he forced Guthrum to surrender at Chippenham. The Danes agreed to make the Thames River and the old Roman road called Watling Street the boundary between Alfred's kingdom and the Danish lands to the north. The treaty, however, did not assure permanent peace. The Danes assaulted London and the coast towns repeatedly. In about 896 they finally admitted defeat and ceased their struggle for a foothold in southern England. 
   Alfred was much more than the defender of his country. He took a keen interest in law and order and was concerned with the improvement of the cultural standards of his people. He encouraged industries of all kinds and rebuilt London, which had been partly destroyed by the Danes. He collected and revised the old laws of the kingdom. He invited learned men from other countries to instruct the people because even the clergy of Wessex no longer knew Latin, the international language of the church. He established a school similar to the Palace School of Charlemagne. 

The "books most necessary for all men to know" were translated from Latin into English so that the people might read them. Alfred himself took a part in preparing the translations. The 'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle' was probably begun under his direction. 
   Alfred died at the age of about 51 in 899. He was in no sense a true king of England, for he ruled less than half of the island.

After his death, however, his capable son, Edward the Elder, and his grandsons extended their rule over all of England." 

*From Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia Deluxe © 1998 The Learning Company, Inc.

All the sovereigns of England, except Canute, Hardicanute, the two Harolds and William the Conqueror, are said to be descended from Cerdic.

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle states that the kingdom expanded  from south to north . 
In the 9th Century, Wessex rose to become the dominant power in a newly united England, which led to its distinctive identity being subsumed into the larger kingdom. 

However, when Canute became king in 1016, he revived the names of the former English kingdoms and applied them to the newly created office of Earl. Canute originally kept the Earldom of Wessex for himself, but later awarded it to Godwin, who became the most powerful private citizen in England as a result. He was succeeded by his son, Harold Godwinson, later to become king Harold II of England. 

When the Normans invaded in 1066, one of their first acts was to abolish the Earldoms in favour of the more manageable shires as the largest units of sub-national government, fearful of the threat that powerful regional government posed to their centralising authority.

The office of Earl of Wessex remained dormant until our own time, when Prince Edward, the third son of Queen Elisabeth II,  became the 3rd Earl upon the occasion of his marriage to Sophie Rhys -Jones.

Therefore once more bonding the Royal connection to Wessex. We congratulate them on the recent birth of their daughter Louise.

By 1066, Harold Godwinson's earldom of Wessex had expanded to include all the above counties, plus Cornwall, Sussex and his original territory of Herefordshire.  The Wyvern, the mythical symbol of the ancient kingdom of Wessex still appears on many county crests in the region today. The Wyvern emblem was carried at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 .

Chard (Cerdre, Cherdre, Cherde) was commercial in origin, being a trade centre near the Roman road to the west. There are two Roman villas in the parish. There was a British camp at Neroche in the neighbourhood. Chard is situated on the highest ground between the Bristol and English Channels, on the border of Devonshire, and was anciently spelt Cerde, or Cherde. - the royal house of Cerdic. 

Because of it's position being the highest ground it was strategically in the best position to defend and is more obviously "Camelot" than other such claimants. In the Doomsday Survey it is called Cerdre, at which time the manor belonged to the Bishop of Wells.

The bishop of Bath held Chard in 1086.  Bishop Jocelyn, of Bath and Wells, incorporated this borough 1234, and gave the land from his manor of Chard for the building of the town, previous to which it is supposed to have constituted what is now known as the old town.   He made Chard a free borough, each burgage paying a rent of f 2d. Trade in hides was forbidden to non-burgesses. 

This charter was confirmed in 1253, 1280 and 1285. Chard is said to have been incorporated by Elizabeth, as the corporation seal dates from 1570, but no Elizabethan charter can be found. It was incorporated by grant of Charles I. in 1642, and Charles II. gave a charter in 1683. 

Chard was a mesne borough, the first overlord being Bishop Joceline, whose successors held it (with a brief interval from 1545 to 1552) until 1601, when it was sold to Earl Poulett. 
Parliamentary representation began in 1312, and was lost in 1328 by the neglect of the freemen.
A market on Monday and fair on the 25th of July were granted in 1253, and confirmed in 1642 and 1683, when two more fair days were added (November 2 and May 3), the market being changed to Tuesday. The market day is now Saturday, fairs being held on the first Wednesday in May, August and November, for corn and cattle only, their medieval importance as centres of the cloth trade having departed.

Chard was therefore a town of great significance in the past. 

Charles 1 of England

In Stuart times it was from Chard that Charles I of England tried to sue for peace with Oliver Cromwell. It was refused and Charles was soon defeated and ultimately beheaded.

"I am James Scott, First Duke of Monmouth and the son of His Royal Majesty Charles II.
All those who join me in my quest against the Catholic Usurper, James Duke of York, my father's brother and his murderer, will gain Royal favour when I take my rightful place as Englandís Ruler."
James Scott Duke of Monmouth

 Duke of Monmouth Crowned King in Chard 1685

Then in the reign of James II it was at the epicentre of the uprising against the King.  The final major turmoil for 17th-century Chard came in 1685 when the Duke of Monmouth landed at Lyme Regis on June 11 and recruited 3,000 volunteers as part of his famous rebellion. He marched into Somerset, was crowned king in Chard and was the subject of more coronations in Taunton and Bridgwater, where more local rebels swelled his army to 7,000 men.After a series of skirmishes near Bristol and Bath, the rebels returned to Bridgwater from where Monmouth led them into the famous Battle of Sedgemoor against James II's Royalist army, which was encamped at Westonzoyland.
It was the last land battle on English soil and it ended in defeat for Monmouth who was later beheaded at the Tower of London.  The locals who had joined the uprising were severely dealt with by the infamous "hanging" Judge Jeffries at both Dorchester and Taunton Assizes.* See list of those executed below

The town was also very much at the centre of the industrial revolution. 

chard plane
One of Judge Jeffries' victims kept in the stocks for 320 years!
In 1843, some 50+ years before the Wright brothers, the first powered flight aeroplane was made and took to the air in Chard. The inventor was John Stringfellow. It was also the place where the first artificial limbs were made. Full descriptions and models can be viewed at the Chard Museum.
READ ABOUT THE SIMILARITIES BETWEEN THE LIFE OF CERDIC &  KING ARTHUR - Click HERE or *Ref: Arthur, Cerdic, and the Formation of Wessex By: John C. Rudmin, 864 Chicago Av, Harrisonburg, VA, 22801  Joseph W. Rudmin, Physics Dept., James Madison Univ., Harrisonburg, VA, 22807 (First submitted for publication in Oct 1993) http://camelot.celtic-twilight.com/ rudmin/   Also view: http://www.jmu.edu/montpelier/summer97/arthur.html

King Cerdic
Conscience of the King by Alfred Duggan
A thoroughly entertaining and convincing new take on the last days of the Roman Empire in Britain.   
"Cerdic Elesing, King of Wessex and ancestor of all subsequent British monarchs, narrates in this fictional biography how he murdered, cheated, looted and lied his way to the great position he ultimately held -- and in the process served with the great Roman leader Ambrosius and the Saxon warlord Aella, and was the foe Arthur defeated at Mount Badon."
£7.99    Paperback  240 pages   198 x 129 mm   ISBN: 0304366463   Publication: July 2005    Orion Publishing Group, Orion House, 5 Upper St Martin's Lane, London, WC2H 9EA tel: 020 7240 3444  www.orionbooks.co.uk
email contacts : enquiries@hookedonbooks.co.uk or available from Hooked On Books in Holyrood Street,Chard,


Only three years later the Protestant William of Orange landed in Brixham, Devon & became King of England

Union flag

Berkshire Attractions
Cornwall Attractions
Devon Attractions
Dorset Attractions

Gloucestershire Attractions

Hampshire Attractions

Kent Attractions
Oxfordshire Attractions

Wessex Index
Sussex Attractions
Wiltshire Attractions
Chard Attractions
Alec's List of Wessex Events 2006
Cerdic's Front Page
Michelin starred restaurants in Wessex

Wessex By The Sea - Compendium of Seaside Resorts

Mercian History Famous Wessaxens
Films Shot in Wessex
Check to see if your name has Wessex Roots

Places to visit
                              in Chard area

More film & Television information available from South West Tourism www.westcountrynow.com

There are many places of interest both in Chard itself and in the surrounding area: These include The Chard Reservoir Nature Reserve, The Wildlife Park at Cricket St. Thomas, Cricket House (famous for the TV series "To The Manor Born),  Forde Abbey & Gardens (Used in the film "Restoration") , The Devon County Showground, The County Cricket Ground at Taunton, The Bath & West Showground, The Fleet Air Arm Museum, The Cheddar Caves & Gorge, Wookey Hole Caves, Perry's Cider Mills and the Glastonbury Music Festival.

This is the area made famous by such great authors as Jane Austen and Thomas Hardy. It's beauty has been the backdrop for such films as "The French Lieutenant's Woman" ( Lyme Regis), "Goodbye Mr Chips" ( Sherbourne), "Sleuth" & " Dr Who & The Seals of Doom" ( Athelhampton House), " Sense & Sensibility" ( Montacute House), "Em
ma"  (East Coker) and Channel Four's  "Return to River Cottage".
Click here to See Films & TV  Shot in Wessex

The Chard Lace Riot Audio Walk
It's a Riot - In 1842 Chard was the Scene of the Famous Chard Lace Riot. Now YOU can join the rioters on The Chard Lace Riot Audio Walk. Simply go to the Tourist Office (Next to the Guildhall) and get the audio machine. Then you walk the three quarters of a mile round the 7 sites of the riots. (There is a resting bench at each site). Listen to A crowd of starving angry workers demanding their rights ........Civic Leaders in Panic.......Tension Mounting......... Call in The Cavalry.  History re-enacted & brought vividly to life.

                                  office Chard Tourist Information Centre,
 Guildhall, Fore Street, TA20 Wessex
Telephone : 01460 260051
email: chardtic@chard.gov.uk
Monday to Friday 10-4 and
Saturdays 10-1 all year round.

Thomas Hardy
Thomas Hardy's Wessex

I find that the name Wessex is getting taken up everywhere and it would be a pity for us to lose the right to it for lack of asserting it

The Windle map of Hardy's Wessex, 1906.
Bertram Windle published a topographical guide titled The Wessex of Thomas Hardy.
(This map, courtesy of The Thomas Hardy Association, has been chosen for its relative clarity.) 
Thomas Hardy first used the term "Wessex" in his 1874 novel, Far From the Madding Crowd.

In reprinting this story for a new edition I am reminded that it was in the chapters of "Far From the Madding Crowd," as they appeared month by month in a popular magazine, that I first ventured to adopt the word "Wessex" from the pages of early English history, and give it a fictitious significance as the existing name of the district once
included in that extinct kingdom. The series of novels I projected being mainly of the kind called local, they seemed to require a territorial definition of some sort to lend unity to their scene.
--- from Hardy's Preface to the novel, 1895-1902 

The extinct kingdom to which Hardy refers, of course, is that ancient kingdom of the West Saxons known as Wessex. From the sixth to the tenth centuries the boundaries of Wessex expanded and contracted as wars went favorably or otherwise, but theheart of the kingdom, with its capitals first in Chard and then at Winchester, always lay in southwest England, and in large part approximated the area indicated by the map displayed above.
King Alfred the Great of Wessex, who styled himself King of the English, ruled from 871-899, and did much to consolidate the kingdom and advance the development of what was to become the English monarchy. 

 It was during the reign of King Athelstan (925-939), however, that the royal house of Wessex reached a peak of splendor and success, and the Wessex king could proudly lay claim to the title "King of all Britain".

The Battle of Hastings in 1066 sounded the death knell of the Saxon monarchy. When William the Conqueror claimed the English throne he quickly put down all resistance, and the Saxon nobility were largely destroyed and almost entirely dispossessed.

The bones of many of the kings of Wessex repose in mortuary chests within Winchester Cathedral. That city was the royal and ecclesiastical centre of Wessex, and the site of a minster church since the year 648.

Hardy's concept of Wessex, as we know it today, did not spring full-blown from his mind at an early stage. Rather, it evolved over the years in both size and exactitude as his imagination formulated a unifying geographic canvas for his novels and poems.

It was not until about 1884, when he began to write The Mayor of Casterbridge , that "... Hardy achieved a full realization of the Wessex concept, a realization which depended on the establishment of Casterbridge itself... as the central point, the economic, administrative, and social capital, of a whole region" (from Michael Millgate's Thomas Hardy:


His Career as a Novelist, which devotes a chapter to "The Evolution of Wessex").

In 1895-96, Hardy painstakingly revised his novels for the Osgood, McIlvaine collected editions soon to be published. He systematically changed place names and topography to conform consistently with the fictitious Wessex he had formulated. 

For example, actual place names were used in The Trumpet-Major when originally published in 1880; now Dorchester became Casterbridge, Weymouth became Budmouth, and so on. In other cases distances and directions were changed to conform to the actual landscape of the region. In Far From the Madding Crowd, for example, when driving the funeral cart from Casterbridge to Weatherbury, Joseph Poorgrass originally went up a hill, looked left to the sea, and saw high hills; this was modified to down a hill, looked right to the sea, and saw long ridges

The new wording more accurately describes what one would actually experience in traveling that route from west to east. Further revisions were made in later years for later editions, until finally Hardy's vast works conformed to the region that he envisioned and called Wessex. But as Thomas Hardy himself always maintained, "This is an imaginative Wessex only".

Chard holds two magnificent carnivals each year. People flock to Chard for these carnivals.  Somerset Carnivals have been in existence for over 400 years & are considered as some of the finest in the world. See our tourist page for dates of other Wessex carnivals.
THE COTLEY HUNT on Boxing Day ( December 26th)
Outside the Phoenix
Here We Come
Dogs Day Out
Tally Ho!

Chard Market
is open every Saturday. It is centred round the newly renovated magnificent Guildhall.

People come in from all over the area to buy local produce. Mouth-watering fresh local food can be bought including Bread, Cheeses, Fish, Fruit, Meat and Vegetables.

Bargains in clothes, flowers, shoes, hardware, plants, videos, tapes, electrical goods and animal foods are also available. Get there early to get the bargains. 

There are also large multiple outlets of Tesco,  Lidl, Focus, Co-Operative, and Somerfield  open all hours here as well as many interesting shops to browse around.  These are listed in Chardnet's directory of businesses and trades. Every Thursday there is an Antiques Fair. 

Chard Market on a Saturday
Chard's Saturday Market

Read King Cerdic's Page. And buy Cerdic Merchandise for your friends. Be King of Wessex for a Day 
Click on Cerdic for T-shirts, Caps, Mugs, Doggie T-Shirts, Wall Clocks and details.
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INDUSTRY &  BUSINESS (click here)
Dairy Crest Site Chard's economy is very diversified. Many leading companies are based here. These include Oscar Meyer Ltd., Numatic International Ltd., St.Ivel, Allied Signal's Honeywell Normalair-Garrett Ltd., Colin Mear Engineering Ltd., Adwest Western Controls Thompson Ltd., Edward Pearson Ltd., Actionaid and Swiss Net UK Plc.
Local Member of Parliament
David Laws
David Laws is the Local Member of Parliament and a Liberal Democrat. He holds regular surgeries in Yeovil, Chard, Crewkerne, Ilminster and South Petherton - where he can be seen in person. You can write to either : David Laws MP, 94 Middle Street, Yeovil, BA20 1LT or David Laws MP, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA.  You can call his offices on 01935 423284. 
Visit his website  www.davidlaws.org.uk or email : lawsd@parliament.uk
  Member of European Parliament 

Graham Watson MP - Liberal Democrat
10 Belvedere Road
County Council
Name:    BUCHANAN, Paul Eugene   
Party:    Liberal Democrat   
Address:    The Coach House, Crickleaze, Somerset. TA20 3DR   
Division:    Chard North   
Telephone:    (01460) 234168   
E-Mail:    pebuchanan@somerset.gov.uk

Name:    SHORTLAND, Jill Christine (Mrs)   
Party:    Liberal Democrat (Deputy Leader)   
Address:    East Hill, 35 Crewkerne Road, Chard, Somerset, TA20 1HA   
Division:    Chard South   
Telephone:    (01460) 67357   
E-Mail:    jcshortland@somerset.gov.uk


Chard has two twin towns. Helmstedt & Morangis.

Helmstedt in Germany is near Brunswick in Lower Saxony. It has a population of 30,000. Website :  www.helmstedt.de

Morangis is in France in the department of Essone It has a population of 10,000. Website :  www.morangis91.com

Signpost to Twin
Media Connections
Media and Communications are well catered for in Chard with several local Newspapers: These include the Chard & Ilminster News, Chard Advertiser,Western Gazette, and Somerset Life. Listen in to Heart Radio, Ivel FM or BBC Somerset Sound or watch BBC West,HTV West or Carlton TV West on Television.

Click here to go to our extensive media site

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We include sections of interest to the community in our Notices , Local News , Tourism and our Heart rendering columns. Thank you for reading our site and please feel free to comment on any part which you feel about. We hope in our small way to make Chard a better place to live and work in.

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Chard Trade Association 
promotes Chard to the outside world and makes trading facilities in Chard more accessible. This association ONLY deals in matters of trade and not in town politics. Although shopkeepers are most welcome this Association is mainly aimed at manufacturers and providers of services.  We are happy to have arranged for two new companies to come to Chard this month.

They are Aircom Ltd- who make and sell air condioner units and Music Acting Dance (MAD) Ltd. MAD run eight Saturday morning schools for children to learn and enjoy the perfoming arts.

Any Company interested in joining please  Click here to contact us     for further details
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Heritage Charitable Functions
Wessex Me are pleased to assist charities and especially the Heritage foundation. For details of the functions in 2003 which are being held to celebrate those pictured above click on our "heart " page.
Over the past two years The Heritage Foundation has supported the following charities: The Royal Marsden, Childline, The Grand Order of the Water Rats, The Oasis Trust, The Foundation for The Study Of Infant Deaths, The Variety Club of Great Britain Children's Charity, and The Bobby Moore Fund for Imperial Cancer Relief.
This is Alan Horne. A very special man in Chard. He is the road sweeper par excellance. Firstly he is a very diligent roadsweeper. Secondly visitors to Chard will hear the music of Elvis, Bill Haley, Fats Domino and all the greats of the Rock & Roll era eminating from his dustcart- embellishing the sound of the town. But even more important he can be found collecting money for worthwhile charities in Chard and is now planing to sky dive to raise money for charity. An " unsung" hero of Wessex. If you see him in town do give generously.

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