Spring line settlement

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Spring line settlements occur where a ridge of permeable rock lies over impermeable rock, resulting in a line of springs along the contact between the two layers. Spring line (or springline) settlements will sometimes form around these springs, becoming villages.

In each case to build higher up the hill would have meant difficulties with water supply; to build lower would have taken the settlement further away from useful grazing land or nearer to the floodplain.

Spring line villages are often the principal settlements in strip parishes, with long, narrow parish boundaries stretching up to the top of the ridge and down to the river but being narrow in the direction of adjacent spring line villages.[1]

Some examples in England[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Humphery-Smith (2003)
  2. ^ Humphery-Smith (2003) Map 40
  3. ^ Humphery-Smith (2003) Map 21B
  4. ^ Humphery-Smith (2003) Map 33
  5. ^ Humphery-Smith (2003) Map 34


  • Humphery-Smith, Cecil (2003). The Phillimore Atlas & Index of Parish Registers (3rd ed.). Chichester: Phillimore & Co. Ltd. ISBN 1-86077-239-0.