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Village settlers: QCA Unit 9

Settlers are people who leave one country and settle in another. The Romans, Saxons and Vikings were among the first to settle in Britain. Originally they came as invaders but decided to stay because they liked it so much.

When these people looked for a place to live they asked themselves: 'Where can we grow our crops?'; 'How can we make ourselves safe?'; 'How can we travel from one place to another quickly?'; 'Where can we get material to build our houses?'

All settlements are built near to a water supply. Water was needed to drink, wash and cook. Often villages grew up where the river was shallow and could be crossed on foot. Such places are called fords. Other places grew up where the first bridges were built. Large ports grew up near the mouths of rivers where sheltered harbours could be built for ships.

In time, settlements became joined up as people needed to visit and trade with each other. Look on a map for links between settlements. These may not only be roads, but also ancient bridleways and footpaths. Roman roads are often very straight. They were expertly engineered and built for military purposes. Many are still in use today.