Nucleated settlement refers to a town with buildings clustered together around a center. Settlement patterns of towns include dispersed, linear and nucleated, each influenced by largely geographic factors.


Nucleated settlements are easier to defend, according to National Grid for Learning Cymru. Such settlements typically developed around castles and forts, for example. Townspeople would seek shelter inside the central area in case of danger.

Water Supply

Nucleated settlements often develop around a conveniently located water supply, like a bend in a river.

Flat Areas

Nucleated settlements in flat areas without geographic restrictions allow for a town to grow outward in many directions. A busy road crossing also allows a surrounding town to develop further.