Gravesham (// GRAYV-shəm) is a local government district with borough status in north-west Kent, England. Its administrative centre and largest town is Gravesend, which was known as Gravesham in ancient times.
Gravesham was formed on 1 April 1974 by the merger of the Municipal Borough of Gravesend with Northfleet Urban District and part of Strood Rural District, under the Local Government Act 1972. It borders the Borough of Dartford and Sevenoaks District to the west, the Borough of Tonbridge and Malling to the south, the Medway unitary authority to the east and the Thurrock unitary authority of Essex to the north, via the River Thames.
Robert Heath Hiscock LL.B., F.S.A., Chairman of the Gravesend Historical Society, in the foreword to his book, 'A History of Gravesend' (Phillimore, 1976) wrote:
Housing varies from mid rise to low rise, particularly in the villages. The district has 12 buildings listed in the highest category of the national grading system, Grade I, three of which are private residences:
Cobham Hall, also in the highest architectural category, is a stately home which was formerly the seat of the Earls of Darnley: since 1965 it has been an independent girls' school. Cobham Park is Grade II*-listed which is listed separately in the gardens and parklands category of classification approved by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport; and includes the remains of a Roman villa.
The other Grade I*-listed buildings in the borough comprise its ancient parish churches.
Gravesham Borough Council is elected every four years, with currently 44 Councillors being elected at each election. From the first election in 1973 the council has alternated between Labour and Conservative control. Since 1995 Labour has controlled the council apart from 4 years between the 2007 and 2011 elections. As of the 2015 election the council is composed of the following councillors:-
There are eighteen wards represented on the borough council: