The original license for a tavern at Hanover Courthouse was issued in 1733. The tavern was once part of a 550-acre plantation but today occupies 3 and 1/2 acres. It was constructed in phases with its oldest surviving section dating back to about 1791.
Situated between Richmond to the south and Fredericksburg to the north, the Hanover Tavern has been an important landmark in the community for over two centuries, serving meals and providing lodging to travelers and those having business at the court house across the street.
In those two hundred plus years, the Hanover Tavern has entertained several notorious visitors. Famous guests include George Washington, the Marquis de Lafayette, Lord Cornwallis, Edgar Allen Poe, P.T. Barnum, Charles Dickens and Chief Justice John Marshall.
The tavern was once owned by the in-laws of Patrick Henry from 1750-1764. Henry lived at the tavern for several of those years and even argued the Parson's Cause case, a famous challenge to royal authority, at the courthouse across the street in 1763.