Sussex County was formed in 1754 and named after Sussex County, England. Settlement of Sussex County started prior to 1700 when people began to move south of the Blackwater River. Sussex County is located in the south central region of Virginia. The county is 45 miles southeast of the capital city Richmond, 25 miles from the tri-cities area that includes Petersburg and Hopewell. Washington D.C. and Baltimore are within a few hours drive, while Boston and Atlanta are both within a day's drive. Sussex County encompasses 317,400 acre or 496 square miles. The county lies in the Coastal Plain region on level to slightly rolling terrain.