Loudoun County, Virginia was established in 1757 from Fairfax County. The county is named for John Campbell, Fourth Earl of Loudoun and Governor General of Virginia from 1756–59. Western settlement began in the 1720s and 1730s with Quakers, Scots-Irish, Germans and others moving south from Pennsylvania and Maryland and by English and African slaves moving upriver from Tidewater.
By the time of the American Revolution, it was Virginia’s most populous county. It was also rich in agriculture, and the county’s contributions of grain to George Washington’s Continental Army, earned it the nickname “Breadbasket of the Revolution.”
During the War of 1812, important Federal documents and government archives were evacuated from Washington and stored at Leesburg. Local tradition holds that these documents were stored at Rokeby House, making Leesburg briefly the capital of the United States.
U.S. President James Monroe treated Oak Hill Plantation as a primary residence from 1823 until his death on July 4, 1831. The Loudoun County coat of arms and flag, granted by the English College of Arms, memorialize the special relationship between Britain and the United States that developed through his Monroe Doctrine.
Early in the American Civil War, the Battle of Balls Bluff took place near Leesburg on October 21, 1861. Future jurist Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. was critically wounded in that battle along the Potomac River. During the Gettysburg Campaign in June 1863, Confederate Major General J.E.B. Stuartand Union cavalry clashed in the battles of Aldie, Middleburg, and Upperville. Confederate partisan John S. Mosby based his operations in Loudoun and adjoining Fauquier County (for a more in-depth account of the history of Loudoun County during the Civil War, see Loudoun County in the American Civil War).
In 1962, Washington Dulles International Airport was built in southeastern Loudoun County in Sterling. Since then, Loudoun County has experienced a high-tech boom and rapid growth. Accordingly, many have moved to eastern Loudoun and become residents of planned communities such as Sterling Park, Sugarland Run, Cascades, and Ashburn Farms, making that section a veritable part of the Washington suburbs. Others have moved to the county seat or to the small towns and rural communities of the Loudoun Valley.
Your new home is a growing, dynamic county of more than 310,000 people. Loudoun County is a dynamic county with an outstanding quality of life, located just 25 miles from Washington, D.C. The home of Dulles International Airport, Loudoun has established a reputation as an international center for technology, communications and transportation.
Bordered by the Blue Ridge Mountains and Potomac River, Loudoun is widely known for its beautiful scenery, rich history and strong sense of community. The county also enjoys a reputation for high quality services, including a first-rate educational system.
The links below will take you to important information for new Loudoun County residents.
- Are You in a Historic District?
- Dog Licenses
- Drivers Licenses
- Elected Officials: Board of Supervisors, Constitutional Officers, State and Federal
- Emergency Preparedness
- Fire and Rescue, Fire & Rescue Departments, Fire Marshal
- Homebuyer Information Guide
- Law Enforcement
- Parks and Recreation
- Planning and Zoning
- Envision Loudoun
- Public Safety
- Recycling Information
- Tax Information
- Towns and Communities
- Countywide Transportation Plan
- Loudoun County Transit Services
- Commuting Options
- Vehicle Decals
- Voting Information
- Zoning Information
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Loudoun County has a total area of 521 square miles (1,350 km2), of which 516 square miles (1,340 km2) is land and 6 square miles (16 km2) (1.1%) is water. It is bounded on the north by the Potomac River; across the river are Frederick, Washington and Montgomery counties in Maryland; it is bounded on the south by Prince William and Fauquier counties, on the west by watershed of the Blue Ridge Mountain across which are Jefferson County, West Virginia and Clarke County, and on the east by Fairfax County. The Bull Run Mountains and Catoctin Mountain bisect the county. To the west of the range is the Loudoun Valley.
The county is served by Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS). LCPS serves over 70,000 students from Kindergarten through 12th grade and is Virginia’s fifth largest school system. While there is a trend toward home schooling in the county, the vast majority of school age children attend LCPS schools. Loudoun County schools recently ranked 11th in the United States in terms of educational achievement versus funds spent. Loudoun County also sends students to its Loudoun Academy of Science, housed within Dominion High School, and Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, a Virginia Governor’s School in Alexandria, Virginia.
Loudoun County is home to nine private schools: Loudoun Country Day School, a Pre-K–8 independent school in Leesburg; Notre Dame Academy, an independent non-denominational day high school in Middleburg; the Foxcroft School, a boarding school for girls located in Middleburg; Dominion Academy, a Non-denominational Christian school, K–8 in Leesburg; Leesburg Christian School, a K–12 school in Leesburg; St. Theresa School, a K–8 Roman Catholic school in Ashburn; Village Montessori School at Bluemont, an accredited Pre-K through Elementary Montessori school in Bluemont; Christian Faith & Fellowship School, a PreK–12 non-denominational Christian school and Loudoun County’s only private school accredited by the Association of Christian Schools International; and Ideal Schools High School, an independent non-denominational school in Ashburn.
In terms of post-secondary education, Loudoun County is home to a variety of colleges and universities, including: Patrick Henry College; a branch of Northern Virginia Community College in Sterling; George Washington University (satellite campus); George Mason University (satellite campus); Marymount University (satellite campus); Shenandoah University(satellite campus); and Strayer University (satellite campus). Loudoun is also home to a satellite campus of the Virginia–Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine and the Janelia Farm Research Campus of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.