Surry County is located on the southern bank of the James River, between Prince George and Isle of Wight counties. It is connected to Jamestown and the rest of the Middle Peninsula via a short ferry ride, provided free of charge, and is serviced by Route 10, which connects Surry to the rest of the Southside peninsula, including Virginia Beach, Norfolk, and North Carolina. Surry is also serviced by the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport, located approximately 30 minutes away, as well as the larger Richmond and Norfolk International Airports, located approximately 45 minutes away.
Surry’s history dates back to the earliest settlers of Virginia. Located directly across the James River from Jamestown Colony, Surry was established in 1609 when Smith’s Fort was constructed. Originally part of James City County, Surry separated in 1652 and became the agricultural and production center for the new Virginia colonies. Many of its current attractions center around the county’s rich and well preserved history. The Surry County Courthouse, constructed in 1796, is listed on the National Historical Registry. The current courthouse was constructed in 1923 and contains one of the most complete collections of original county records in the nation.
Chippokes Plantation State Park is located along the James River in Surry. It is one of the oldest working farms in Virginia, and serves today as a park and tourist attraction. Chippokes Plantation maintains its original 16th century property boundaries today, and includes gardens and woodlands, with campsites available, as well as the Chippokes Farm and Forestry Museum, which showcases the farming implements used in Virginia throughout history. Surry celebrates its agricultural and rural history and traditions each July with a Pork, Peanut, and Pine Festival, which is held each year in Chippokes Plantation State Park and represents the three cash crops of Surry County. This tradition dates back to 1976, and allows Surry residents to connect with neighbors, family, and their unique local identity.
Bacon’s Castle, located in central Surry, was home to one of the most notable historical events in early Colonial history. Built in 1665, the home was originally owned by Major Arthur Allen, a member of the House of Burgesses and British loyalist. Allen was driven from his home in 1676 by Nathaniel Bacon, in what came to be known as Bacon’s Rebellion, and marked the beginning of the American Independence Movement. Bacon’s Castle is now open to the public and contains an on-site museum.