Gravesham Borough officially twinned with Chesterfield County in 2005 ahead of 2007 when the 400th anniversary of the first settlers in America was commemorated. Those settlers sailed out past Gravesend on the River Thames to a new world and Gravesend is the resting place of Pocahontas who lived in the settlement at Henricus, now a commemorative park in the county, and whose story is told around the world.
Chesterfield County was founded in 1749, by the House of Burgesses. It was created from part of Henrico County and has the historic James River as one border and the Appomattox River as the other.
Chesterfield County received its name from the Fourth Earl of Stanhope, England's famed Lord Chesterfield. Chesterfield was first settled in 1611 at the Citie of Henricus when settlers of Jamestown moved upstream because conditions at the first settlement became too harsh. This became an extensive settlement and it was here that Pocahontas came to live, met John Rolfe, married him and they had their baby son Thomas before the family journeyed to England in 1617.
Chesterfield County's rich history includes Bermuda Hundred the first incorporated town in America: Falling Creek was the first iron furnace in the New World; Mount Malady was the site of the first American hospital; Midlothian produced the first commercially mined coal in America; Midlothian Turnpike was the first paved road in Virginia..
While the county is proud of its historic roots, today Chesterfield is proud to be a "First Choice Community" that offers its residents a great place to live, work and play. There are 310,000 people in over 100,000 households with new housing and businesses arriving all the time.
Chesterfield Twinning Association has been formed from the very active community association in the County and provided fantastic hosting in April last year for a visit by 18 Association members..
A first visit by twinning Association members was Summer 2013 in return to a visit by Gravesham in 2011 to see the special celebrations for the 400th anniversary of the Henricus settlement. Gravesham has also previously welcomed Native American dancers to riverside events here with great success. They met us again in Henricus.