Geology has influenced human settlement from its very beginning. Even a short-term camp for hunter/gatherers would, ideally, be placed on dry, flat ground near to a supply of water. The need for these attributes for choosing more permanent settlements would be even more important. The development of agriculture implied not only long term settlement but also the need for fertile, workable soils. The presence of raw materials may also have been a factor in the choice of a place to stay. In early societies flint or flint-like rock for hand tools or ochre for decoration may have been a factor and in later more developed societies building stone, potting/brick clay, coal and other mineral resources would become important considerations. These factors are all controlled by the geology of the area.
The Radcliffe area as a whole has many of these desirable attributes for a settlement. The Mercia Mudstone weathers to soils that are moderately fertile and easier to work than the more fertile but heavier soils derived from the Jurassic rocks to the south east. Water is nearby in the River Trent or its tributaries and the land surface is flat or slopes at generally low to moderate angles. However, within the area there are some geological situations more favourable for permanent habitation than others.