About New Hanover County
New Hanover County, which is located in the Lower Coastal Plain of eastern North Carolina, is situated on a natural peninsula between the Atlantic Ocean and the Lower Cape Fear River. New Hanover County is bounded on the north by Pender County; on the west by Brunswick County and the Cape Fear River; and on the south and east by the Atlantic Ocean. The area of New Hanover County is 199 square miles (127,360 acres). The elevation of the county ranges from sea level to 75 feet in the city of Wilmington.
New Hanover County, named after the English Royal Family's House of Hanover, was formed in 1729 from the old Clarendon County-the name given to eastern North Carolina by King Charles in honor of his favorite Edward Hyde Duke of Clarendon. The initial European settlers of the region were mostly English, Welch, and French Huguenots who arrived early on in America. The county seat remains Wilmington.
New Hanover County is the smallest county in North Carolina, but holds the most titles on the National Register of Historic Places. New Hanover County has a history steeped in pirates, Spanish and English explorers, Civil War battles, and American Revolution heroes. Today, New Hanover County is known for its beaches, movie studio, and seasonal festivals.