what's the difference between a village and town?

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imajenarry | 01:48 Sun 05th Nov 2006 | People & Places
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i have wondered this for a while.the village next to ours is apparently the largest in england. as it's so big why can't it be classified as a small town.what's the diference.does anyone know..thankyou.


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In the old-fashioned way of judging these sorts of things, it used to be that a village had to have a church, a town had to have a market and a city had to have a cathedral, but that no longer applies, since towns can now simply apply for city status. It probably harks back to this system, though.
I also believe that what Robbo has advised is correct.
Being interesting and useful, this Wikipedia article probably won't survive very long: n_England
Good question imajenarry, the village I live in now has about the same number of inhabitants as the town where my children went to school!
I always thought that a town had a town hall, a village a church. I used to live in a hamlet - a village without a church.
I'm sure that robbo and morbidstorm are right.

I lived in Winslow in Buckinghamshire between 1996-99. When I moved there, Winslow was termed a village but they were able to claim town status in about 1998 by arranging to hold a market every Wednesday. There were only three stalls in the village square every week, but that was enough for Winslow to promote itself as a town rather than a village. I think they still only have three stalls on a Wednesday now!
Out of interest, which village is it which makes this claim? I too live near a place which says it's the biggest village in England - Cottingham in East Yorkshire. Is this the same one, or do several make the same claim???
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i clicked on jenstar's link for wikipedia which states the title is claimed by lots of villages and i'm surprised to see the village near me(yaxley,cambs) is not even listed!!! maybe you can have a look to see what it says about your village.
I have been given to believe that the answer is the same as that given to 'what is the difference beyween a mountain and a hill'. The mountain is a large hill and a hill is a small mountain!
Sorry about that didn't mean to be frivilous but just couldn't resist it.
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town has a town hall, village has a village hall??

(thats 'i dont know' in other words)

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The High Street of a village should not have a Woolworths.
Snobbishness, if a large town is called a village.
Now we're all just confused then! I uased to live in Fordwich which claims to be the smallest town in Britain, though it clearly appears to be a village and is situated near to Canterbury in Kent which is undeniably a city and has always been so due to Canterbury Cathedral (I presume). Canterbury, though only had a population of 42,000 in 2001 so is probably the smallest city!! I guess Kent is all just so darn small and quaint!
The City of London covers only one square mileand has a tiny population because it contains mainly office blocks.
P.S. If you are ever asked in a quiz or whatever; the nearest city to it is the City of Westminster
A little more confusion for Soul-Full-La regarding city status and cathedrals. I agree Canterbury is a city, however, there must be other criteria aside from having a cathedral as my home-town of Shrewsbury (popn 80,000 ish) has had a cathedral for centuries and is still a town. The town has applied for city status in recent times, however, I understand that this is as much to do with additional central government funding as anything else.
The simple answer is that a town is a place which held petty sessions, ie magistrates courts. Villages did not.

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