Definitions of Hamlet


The group of houses that make up a population is known as a hamlet. The concept usually refers to a small complex, made up of few houses. For example: “I hope we can find a place to eat in the next village”, “My grandfather grew up in a village where there was no running water or electricity”, “Half a century ago this city was just a village.

The notion has different specific meanings depending on the country. In Chile, a rural entity is called caserío that has fewer than 301 residents and has three or more houses that are located close to each other.

The hamlets or cortijadas are, in the Spanish territory, small groups of rural houses. These population centers developed in the 18th and 19th centuries in the middle of regions dedicated to winning or agricultural exploitation.

Also in Spain a typical construction of rural areas found in the north of the country is called a farmhouse. These are stone houses in which the ground floor was used for agricultural infrastructures (such as stables or barns), while the upper floor was used for housing.

Due to these characteristics, the hamlets used to have a large area. In the same construction the animals were given shelter, the crops were gathered and the entire family group lived.

It can be said that these hamlets were farm houses or work houses. This is the name given to the constructions that the peasants used as housing and to store their tools and livestock.

In the Basque Country it is where the construction of the farmhouse is more typical, which in other parts of northern Spain is also known as “casona”.

Made of stone and even reaching 15 meters in height. These are other hallmarks of this type of construction that has a gabled roof, which has an open portico and which was historically inherited by the first-born of the family.

Many are the people who are interested in knowing the most historically relevant hamlets of the aforementioned Basque Country. In that case, you should know that some of the most recommended are the following:
-Caserío Uribarren, which is located in Bedoña, specifically in the municipality of Arrasate. It has its origins in the eighteenth century and it surprises, above all, its spectacular stately façade.
-Caserío Gomiztegi, which can be visited in Arantzazu (Oñati). It has great historical value and serves as a School of Shepherds.

To both should be added other relevant hamlets such as Agirrezubiaga, in Berezao, or Mietza, in Arrasate.

In the same way, the existence of an important brand within the food sector in Spain that responds to the name of “El Caserío” should not be overlooked. It became popular mainly for its cheeses and has its origin in the 1930’s, which was when its founder, Pedro Montañés de Vilallonga, began to manufacture a melted cheese from artisan cheese that was made in some livestock farms in Menorca.