Slides in this set
Settlements come in different sizes, types
and locations. You can learn about the
history and function of a settlement by
studying its shape and size, its placement in
the landscape, and its situation in relation to
If you group and classify settlements
according to their size and shape, the result
is a settlement hierarchy.…read more
What is a settlement...?
A settlement is a place where people live. A
settlement may be as small as a single house in a
remote area or as a large as a mega city (a city
with over 10 million residents).
A settlement may be permanent or temporary.
An example of a temporary settlement is a
refugee camp. However, a temporary settlement
may become permanent over time. This has
happened to many refugee camps that have been
built in conflict zones.
The reason a settlement was developed or built
can be thought of as its function. For example,
the settlement of Southampton is a port.…read more
Some common site factors
Wet point sites these have good water supply. Many settlements
grew around wet point sites, e.g. villages in the South Downs.
Dry point sites these are away from the risk of flooding, eg Ely in
Defensive sites often found on higher ground so that enemies could
be seen from a distance, e.g. Corfe Castle, Dorset, or in the loop of a
meander, e.g. Durham.
Aspect settlements are often found on the sunny side of a deep
valley. This is common in settlements in the Alps.
Shelter from cold prevailing winds and rain.
Gap towns Lincoln is found in a gap between two areas of higher
Resources important for industry, e.g. villages such as Aberfan in
the Welsh valleys close to coal reserves.
Bridging point settlements with 'ford' in their name often grew
around a fording point or bridging point, e.g. Watford is found on the
Trading centres often settlements grow where natural route ways
and rivers meet, which helps the development of roads, railways and
Examples of functions:
Most large Port the original function of cities
settlements in such as Liverpool and Southampton.
MEDCs are Both are still ports, but this function
multifunctional and has diminished in importance and they
perform a range of are now multifunctional.
functions such as Market town Watford was originally a
retail, education and market town, and although it still holds
industry. a regular market, it is now a thriving
When settlements Resort Southport was a popular
first started to grow, Victorian seaside resort, although it
most had only one now has many functions and is a
distinct function, commuter settlement for Liverpool.
and others Natural resources in the area enabled
developed as the Sheffield to develop as an important
settlement grew. centre in the iron and steel industry.
Although steel is still produced, its
prominence has declined and Sheffield
is a thriving multifunctional city.…read more
If we group and classify a number of ·Services such as department stores
settlements according to their size and
selling high order goods have a higher
shape the result is settlement hierarchy
threshold than those selling low order
As you move up the hierarchy, the size of goods such as newsagents. This means
the settlement and the distance between they need a higher number of people to
similar sized settlements increases. As you
support them and make them profitable,
can see from the diagram below, there are
therefore they will only be found in larger
more cities than conurbations, more towns
than cities and more villages than towns. settlements. It also means that there are
fewer big department stores than small
Small settlements will only provide low
order services such as a post offices, doctors
and newsagents. Large towns, cities and
conurbations will provide low and high
order services such as leisure centres, chain
stores and hospitals.
Larger settlements and conurbations have a
much larger sphere of influence than
smaller ones. This means they attract people
from a wider area because of the facilities
they offer. Cities such as London have a
global sphere of influence, whereas a small
hamlet or village may only have a sphere of…read more