is (usually—see below) a rural
community — that is, a small settlement
— which is too small to be considered a village
. The name comes from the diminutive of a Germanic
word for an enclosed piece of land
In the United Kingdom
, the word 'hamlet' has no legal meaning although they are recognised as part of land use planning
policies and administration. Hamlets are traditionally defined ecclesiastically
as a village or settlement that usually does not have its own church
, belonging to a parish
of another village or town. In modern usage it generally refers to a secondary settlement in a civil parish
, after the main settlement (if any). Hamlets may have been formed around a single source of economic activity such as a farm, mill, mine or harbour that employed its working population. Some hamlets, particularly those that have a medieval
church, may be the result of the depopulation of a village
The term hamlet was used in some parts of the country for an areal subdivision of a parish (which might or might not contain a settlement). Elsewhere, these subdivisions were called "townships" or "tithings".
New York State
In New York State
, hamlets are unincorporated settlements
within towns. Hamlets within the Adirondack Park
are recognized and included in the Adirondack Park Agency
's land-use classifications, and have certain planning and governmental rights. Outside of the Adirondack Park, hamlets are usually not legal entities and have no local government or official boundaries. They will often be named on road signs, however.
A hamlet usually depends upon the town that contains it for municipal services and government. A hamlet could be described as the rural or suburban equivalent of a neighborhood in a city or village. The area of a hamlet may not be exactly defined and may simply be contained within the zip code of its post office, or may be defined by its school or fire district. Residents of a hamlet often identify themselves more closely with the hamlet than with the town. Some hamlets proximate to urban areas are sometimes continuous with their cities and appear to be neighborhoods, but they still are under the jurisdiction of the town. Some hamlets -- for example, Hauppauge, with a population of over 20,000 -- are far more populous than some incorporated cities in the state.
, specifically in Clackamas County
, a hamlet
is a form of local government for small communities, which allows the citizens therein to organize and co-ordinate community activities. Hamlets do not provide services such as utilities or fire protection, and do not have the authority to levy taxes
or fees. The first hamlet to be created in Oregon was the Hamlet of Beavercreek
which was organized as a hamlet in 2006
In numerous provinces in Canada
, there are officially designated municipalities
generally smaller than villages, classified as hamlets. Hamlets are usually small communities situated in remote areas, like Cape Dorset
However, in Alberta, they are unincorporated settlements, as in New York. Sherwood Park, Alberta, which has a population of more than 50,000— well above that needed for city status- has nonetheless retained hamlet status. Fort McMurray, Alberta used to be a city, but has now been amalgamated into the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, thus making it a hamlet. Hamlets are always unincorporated, except in Canada's northern territories, where they are incorporated municipalities.