Ashland is a town located 15 miles north of Richmond along Interstate-95 in Hanover County, Virginia, United States. Ashland is named after the Lexington, Kentucky estate of Hanover County native and statesman Henry Clay. The area known as The Slashes,that later became Ashland, was developed by the Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Potomac Railroad as a mineral springs resort in the 1840s. The population was 7,225 as of the 2010 census. It is the only incorporated town in Hanover County chartered by the Commonwealth of Virginia. Ashland is home to Randolph-Macon College (1830).
Originally known as Slash Cottage, Ashland is located on U.S. Route 1, the Old Washington Highway (a stage route between Richmond and Washington, DC) and the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad, a busy north-south route now owned by CSX Transportation. The tracks run through the center of town, and the area near the Ashland train station is a popular train-watching site for railfans. Ashland is served by AMTRAK at its historic train station/visitors' center which was constructed in 1920.
Ashland was named "Best Place to Raise your Kids" in Virginia by Bloomberg Business in 2009.
Major Payne was filmed at the Ashland Train Station.
In October 2002, Ashland made national news as the site of one of the Beltway sniper attacks. 37-year-old Jeffrey Hopper was shot on October 19 at 8:00 pm in the parking lot of a Ponderosa Steakhouse as he was leaving the restaurant with his wife.