• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Is There a Heirarchy of Settlement In the Vale of Ffestiniog?

Extracts from this document...


Is there a Heirarchy of Settlement in the Vale of Ffestiniog? Introduction The Vale of Ffestiniog is a 'U' shaped valley stretching from Blaenau Ffestiniog to the coast, in Gwynedd, in Northwest Wales (Fig.1), approximately 80 Km�, surrounded by mountains to the North, East & South, and the sea to the West. It's a rural area, and historically, revolved around agriculture, forestry and mining, particularly slate. Slate mining is the main reason behind the rise and fall of Blaenau Ffestiniog, the largest settlement in the Vale of Ffestiniog. As the industry grew, in the early eighteenth century, the population of Blaenau Ffestiniog did also, but as the industry declined in the nineteenth century, the population of Blaenau Ffestiniog was reduced to less than half, and shops and services forced to close. Another town, Porthmadog, which grew due to its' accessibility, created by the River Glaslyn Estuary, and which used to be the main port for distributing slate all over the world, has not been forced into recession by the decline of the slate industry, but has instead built itself and thrived upon tourism, which has been boosted since the introduction of the railways in the Victorian times. Nowadays, people still arrive by train, but the majority travel by car, allowing a greater freedom. Although a geographically 'removed' area, levels of communication are quite high, with good road links to the rest of the country. Also, railway lines are used a lot for commuting to larger settlements to the North, to access higher order services and larger supermarket stores. ...read more.


The services listed are only a selection of the services available in the settlements, and were picked because they include a variety of both high and low order. There are reasons behind Tremadog having such a high order service, the designer clothes shop, when its' hierarchy index is as low as it is, 76.48. Temadog is a planned, 'T' shaped settlement situated at the junction of two main roads, the A467 and the A498. Tourists frequent it and so there are few specialist shops that are geared towards them, rather than the local residents. As the 'weight' of each settlement decreases, the recurrence of the same amenity or service available also decreases. This is because the larger settlements cover a greater area and have a greater sphere of influence. Consequently, the same service has to be repeated throughout the same settlement, in order for it to serve the number of people in its range. Some smaller settlements have, at most, one of a few of the listed amenities. This is because the threshold of that particular service is met by only it's single occurrence in that settlement. There is also a pattern in the hierarchy index, and this is demonstrated in the 'Hierarchy of Settlement' graph. A general statement can be made that as the hierarchy is descended, each successive settlement is on average, approximately 18% smaller than the previous one, though there is an exponential decay from the largest of the settlements. ...read more.


This could be done in many ways, using either random or strategic sampling. The distribution of settlement in the Vale of Ffestiniog is somewhat random, and, according to Fig.7.b inconclusive. Even so, I think that there is a rational explanation for this distribution pattern. The Vale of Ffestiniog, as the name suggests is a valley, a 'U' shaped valley, sculpted by glaciers during the last ice age. The whole area consists of undulating hills, at the foot of Mount Snowdon, and so settlements tend to be in the lowest parts of the valley, close to the Afon (river) Glaslyn and Colwyn. This would account for the apparent random distribution suggested by the NNI (Fig.7.a), but an inspection of the site map (Fig.3) would show that the 'placement' is quite strategic. If there was to be a further line of enquiry, I would like to investigate whether there is a hierarchy of settlement in more urbanised areas of the country, or whether hierarchies are different in other countries. If I was to conduct the investigation again, I like to have taken more photographs in each settlement, so that there would be more 'visual' evidence of a hierarchy. Also, if it was at all possible, I think that aerial photographs would greatly enhance the project, showing size and type (linear, nucleated etc.) of each settlement. On the whole, I think that the facts contained throughout this document are substantial enough to support the general statement that; There Is A Hierarchy of Settlement In The Vale of Ffestiniog. Acknowledgements With thanks to Finham Park School Geography department, and the Plas Dol-y-Moch staff. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Population & Settlement section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Population & Settlement essays

  1. Urban hierarchy

    In general in the UK, this is the case. London is the settlement at the top of the urban hierarchy, and it has the greatest numbers of services and functions of any settlement in the country.

  2. Microclimates.My purpose of this study is to establish whether my hypotheses are true or ...

    how there is a high concentration of cars on either side of the road. The dark texture of the houses is very noticeable, also if can see from the map below you can see the sheer concentration of buildings in the surrounding areas, and the great number of roads and motorways.

  1. Brent Cross shall have a bigger sphere of influence than High Wycombe

    So this may prove confusing when I write up my results and it will prove confusing for the people I ask it to. Also my 4th question could have offended some members of the public as they might have deemed it a personal question, and so might of refused to answer it.

  2. Case Study of Rural Rebranding of Blaenau Ffestiniog

    Another physical change proposed was on Church Street. Here they were meant to use empty shops for a potential arts, crafts and niche visitor retail offer, relating to Market Hall cultural centre, the proposed bunk house in the Church Hall. It is narrow, so to create a series of small-scale artworks and street furniture that act like stepping

  1. Discover whether there is a hierarchy in Leicestershire.

    Method: In my investigation I will be surveying areas of Leicestershire. To collect the data I shall survey at least thirty settlements (this is so it is statically significant). I will be surveying the number of services in an area compared to its population, I will also question the people

  2. Does a population hierarchy exist on the Ards Peninsula?

    Another example would be for the fourth largest settlement. Using the Rank Size Rule ( ) where n=4 we see that the population of the fourth largest settlement, according to this rule would be 1 million, one quarter the population of the largest settlement. The graph below shows the theoretical result of the Rank Size Rule when a settlement's rank is plotted against its population.

  1. Data Interpretation (assignment 1)

    As you can see by the data for Burglary in Norwich the crime rates are higher than the national average for every period of the year. Burglary rates are especially high around the summer months with 1,000 cases between April - June // Jul - Sept.

  2. How is the provision of services affected by the size or distribution of the ...

    The people who owned the mines/quarries built small towns for their workers. These small villages have also decreased in size due to the slowing down of the slate industry. Blaenau Ffestiniog and some of the other small villages are making some money by attracting tourists to the closed down mines.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work