Centreville Quick Facts
Beginning in the 1760s, the area was known as Newgate due to the popularity of the conveniently located Newgate tavern. William Carr Lane operated the tavern and was co-proprietor of a nearby store with James Lane, Jr. The Lanes sold convicted servants, which may explain why the tavern had the same name as a London prison. The small stream that passed near the tavern was named the River Thames, another London association. Another reason for it being named Newgate, was the fact that it was a “new gate” to the western territories.
The town of Centerville (shortly thereafter spelled Centreville) was established in 1792 on the turnpike road at the village of Newgate by the Virginia General Assembly in response to petitions by local landowners. The petitioners reasoned that a town on the turnpike road leading from the Northwest Territory and centrally located to Alexandria, Colchester, Dumfries, Middleburg, George Town (later Georgetown), Fauquier Court House (later Warrenton), and Leesburg would be convenient. At the town’s inception, it was within the boundary of Loudoun County, Virginia, and became part of Fairfax County, Virginia, in 1798 when the boundary between the two counties shifted.
In the American Civil War, several battles were fought nearby including the First Battle of Manassas, the Second Battle of Manassas, and the Battle of Chantilly. During the winter of 1861 and early 1862 the town was significantly fortified by the Confederacy and served as a supply depot for both sides at various points in the war and is famous for being the site of the construction of the first railroad ever built exclusively for military use, the Centreville Military Railroad. Centreville was of significant strategic value due to its proximity to various important roads, while its position atop a high ridge provided a commanding view of the surrounding area. The town was frequently associated with Confederate Colonel John S. Mosby whose partisan rangers used its hillsides and farms as a base of operations, leading to the sobriquet “Mosby’s Confederacy”.
Living in Centreville
Residents of Centreville are zoned to schools in the Fairfax County Public Schools. For the 2022 school year, there are twelve public schools serving 8,151 students. Centreville has one of the highest concentrations of top ranked public schools in Virginia. Centreville High School, which is located within the postal boundaries of Clifton, serves much of Centreville. Some of Centreville is served by Chantilly High School and by Westfield High School—both are in Chantilly. The only high school still within Centreville proper is Mountain View Alternative High School.
There are two middle schools—Liberty Middle School and Ormond Stone Middle School. Some Centreville middle school students also attend Rocky Run Middle School.
Centreville elementary schools include Powell Elementary School, Cardinal Ridge Elementary School, and Cub Run Elementary School. Although a Loudoun County school, Cardinal Ridge Elementary has a Centreville address.
There are eight top private schools in Centreville, serving 638 students. The best top ranked private school is Ad Fontes Academy. The average acceptance rate for Centreville private schools is 48%, which is lower than the Virginia private school average acceptance rate of 83%. Twenty-five percent of private schools in Centreville are religiously affiliated (most commonly Christian and Methodist).