Study of the residues of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) can assist with the assessment of the contamination level, distribution, sources, transportation and trends in these selected OCPs. We investigated the concentration levels of hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs), dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), chlordane, which is currently used, and the never-used aldrin and dieldrin in the Ningbo region – a heavily industrialised and urbanised area in East China. OCPs were found in all soil samples and were predominantly composed of HCHs, DDT and its metabolites. The concentration of DDTs in the soil ranged from 2.2 to 566.6ngg–1, with a mean value of 55.6±94.8ngg–1, while the concentration of HCHs ranged from 2.7 to 28.2ngg–1, with an average of 4.6±2.9ngg–1. Aldrin, dieldrin, endrin and heptachlor were detected at much lower concentrations. The wide distribution of these never-used OCPs indicates that they have been input via long-range atmospheric processes. The results from analysis suggest that HCHs and DDTs were mainly derived from use in historical times.