The villages we live in today started taking shape hundreds of years ago, but the overall scenario was appreciably different during the Late Middle Ages. The countryside was dotted by a constellation of hamlets, in particular south of the Great Fault. A good number perished, while others fused into bigger settlements. In Gozo, it was a different story. The respective villages came into being following the completion of an effective coastal defence system during the course of the 17th century.