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Street stands just over a mile from Glastonbury, across the River Brue. In comparison with the other Mendip towns, Street has a modern appearance, but its story dates back to the Dark Ages, when it was just a cluster of huts on the edge of the Polden Hills.
For centuries it was dependent on agriculture and quarrying, but a turning point in Street's development came in 1825, when a local farmer and devout Quaker, Cyrus Clark, set up a sheepskin and shoe-making business. Street became internationally-known as the home base of C & J Clark Ltd, whose headquarters still border the High Street. Clarks were benevolent employers, and have made significant contributions to cultural provision in the area.
Street now boasts a major factory outlet shopping complex - Clarks Village - which attracts visitors from far and wide. It was the first purpose-built outlet shopping scheme in Britain (1993), and now offers over 75 individual shop units, many of which are household-name companies, selling quality goods at discount prices. The attractive setting of Clarks Village, with its pedestrianised shopping and many other facilities, is much appreciated.
One of Street's other 'institutions' is Millfield, founded in 1935 and now one of England's largest public schools.