County Offices
7497 County Complex Road
Hanover 804-365-6000

Chamber of Commerce
201 E. Franklin Street
Richmond 804-648-1234

Just a few miles north of Richmond, the expansive Hanover County offers the peace and tranquility of a rural lifestyle with a cosmopolitan flair. Distinguished as one of the fastest-growing areas in the Greater Richmond metropolitan area, the county is experiencing a flurry of new subdivisions and shopping centers. In spite of the dizzying pace of progress, the residents and planners of Hanover continue to demonstrate a pride and reverence for the marked battlefields, preserved houses, and the memories that are indelibly etched into its rich history.

Ashland is the only incorporated town, a locality that first emerged when homes and hotels were constructed along the path of the railroad from Richmond. The rural countryside around Ashland once offered city dwellers a cool retreat from the summer heat and spawned a collection of turn-of-the-century buildings in the downtown neighborhood. As part of the tribute to the glory of the past, even the newer structures in this carefully restored historic district harmonize with the embellishments and character of yesterday’s architecture. Dating back to the 17th century, Hanover County’s deep agricultural roots remained relatively unchanged until the first part of the 20th century. Home of the internationally famous Hanover tomato, the region provides fertile ground for crops, gardens, trees, and plants. Through improvements in transportation, utilities, and infrastructure, the shift toward industrial development began. Today, this area claims a strong and diverse economy that is well-positioned for industrial growth.


Hanover County enjoys a prime central location along the Eastern seaboard near the crossroads of three essential interstates, 95, 295, and 64. This advantageous position not only contributes to economic development but increases the importance of the region in the statewide transportation network. Businesses and residents can easily access the resources of Richmond International Airport, although the county airport is available for corporate and private use. The county’s status as a vital contributor to Greater Richmond was underlined by the opening of the $45 million Bon Secours Memorial Regional Medical Center. This state-of-the-art facility replaces Richmond Memorial Hospital in the City of Richmond and marked the first major healthcare institution located in Hanover County.

The region’s drive toward excellence in education was already firmly established when several county schools were honored with Blue Ribbon accreditation. Known for high test scores, exceptional records for daily attendance, award-winning literary magazines, innovative programs, and low dropout rates, Hanover County Schools have been recognized by the U.S. Senate with the coveted “Award for Continuing Excellence.”

Although college-bound seniors and adults of all ages can choose from a wealth of two-year and four-year institutions of higher learning in the Greater Richmond area, Ashland is home to one of the nation’s most respected private liberal arts colleges and the oldest Methodist college in the United States. Offering more than 30 major degree programs, Randolph-Macon College has been ranked by a Carnegie Commission study in the company of Wellesley, Oberlin, Amherst, and Swathmore.

Newcomers will discover a richly satisfying life in Ashland or the rural countryside of Hanover County, known for a unique mix of gracious neighbors, small-town charm, and accessibility to cosmopolitan amenities. The housing options in this region are as diverse as they are attractive, from modest starter homes to the most magnificent of estates. Nestled in the heart of Ashland are some long-established, quiet neighborhoods with tree-canopied streets and neat frame houses. In prestigious planned communities, elegantly appointed homes are adjacent to fairway greens, tennis courts, club houses, richly wooded lots, shaded walking paths, or pristine ponds.

Abundant land opens the door to custom homes on sprawling acreage that’s ideal for private tennis courts, driving ranges, raising horses, tending gardens, or managing a small farm. On the opposite end of the spectrum, residents have the opportunity to enjoy a relatively maintenance-free lifestyle in a wide selection of fine condominiums, townhomes, and retirement complexes.

Most of the newer residential communities and neighborhoods are convenient to area schools, modern shopping districts, and major highways. A wealth of recreational opportunities are always available close to home, from playgrounds and youth sports clinics to basketball, volleyball, and softball leagues for all ages. Fitness and enrichment classes abound, offering everything from gymnastics for the younger set to kayaking instruction for adults.

Steeped in historic significance, Hanover County is the place where Patrick Henry first launched his career as a lawyer and revolutionary orator. He once tended bar at the Old Hanover Tavern, which served until recently as the home of the Barksdale Theatre. The fact that this region’s economy and landscape changed very little for 200 years is a tribute to the pride that residents feel about their rural heritage. In spite of the growth and development springing up around it, Hanover County was reluctant to relinquish its pristine acreage to suburbia. Even today, expansion is carefully planned and balanced against the preservation of open space and natural beauty.

Leisure hours are easy to fill in Hanover County, where residents can visit historic battlefields like Cold Harbor or famous sites that are rich in colonial lore like the Hanover Tavern. Near Doswell is one of the regional recreational hot spots, Paramount’s Kings Dominion theme park. Millions of visitors each year are attracted to the spine-tingling adventure and sheer fun available in the popular Paramount movie-theme areas. This 400-acre playground for all ages combines world-class roller coasters and thrilling rides with a special section for small children, street parties, concerts, live performances, and a water park.

Festivities and cultural attractions add color and spice to all four seasons, including the fine arts celebration of Hanover Art Fest. This extravaganza draws artists from all over the East Coast to its juried exhibitions and cash-prize competitions. The presence of Randolph-Macon College adds a calendar filled with special events and live-stage productions that showcase the talent of visiting artists in addition to that of college faculty and students. Local companies and groups enrich the community, supported by a community commitment to the arts. As Hanover County continues to increase in population and sophistication, insightful local planners are allocating funds for new libraries, additional schools, local airport expansion, quality infrastructure, and superb recreational facilities. At the same time, leaders are keenly aware of the need to preserve and protect the area’s natural beauty and open space. Outdoor enthusiasts will discover unlimited opportunities for recreation in local and regional parks. With Virginia’s relatively mild and brief winters, most months of the year are perfect for picnicking, biking, hiking, backpacking, camping, horseback riding, and nature study. Seasonal hunting, fishing, boating, canoeing, and kayaking are all popular pastimes for Hanover County residents.

In spite of the wave of new residential development and industry, Hanover County is still a region of quiet country roads as well as the world’s most delicious tomato. Regardless of where they settle, newcomers will find friendly neighbors and dozens of established clubs and organizations that will enable them to become involved in their new surroundings. With its country atmosphere, good schools, healthy local economy, and attractive housing, it comes as no surprise that Hanover County is gaining in popularity as the ideal place to call home within the Greater Richmond communities.

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