Street is a town and civil parish in the county of Somerset situated on a dry spot in the Somerset Levels, at the end of the Polden Hills, two miles south-west of Glastonbury and has a population of approximately 11,000.
In the Domesday Book it was recorded as Lega, a name still used throughout the country in the modern form, “Leigh”. The centre of Street is where Lower Leigh hamlet was, and the road called Middle Leigh and the community called Overleigh are to the south of the village. In the 12th century a causeway from Glastonbury was built in order to transport stone from what is now Street for rebuilding Glastonbury Abbey after a fire, giving Street its name from the Latin “strata” - a paved road. The new causeway is about 100 yards north of a Roman road.
The Society of Friends established itself here in the mid 17th century and among the close knit group of Quaker families were the Clarks: Cyrus, who started a business in sheepskin rugs, later joined by his brother James, who introduced the production of woollen slippers and, later, boots and shoes. Under James's son, William, the business flourished but most of the profits were ploughed back into employee welfare, housing and education.
C&J Clark still has its headquarters in Street, behind a frontage which includes the clock tower and water tower, but shoes are no longer manufactured there. Instead, in 1993, redundant factory buildings were converted to form Clarks Village, the first purpose-built factory outlet in the United Kingdom. Despite strong concerns being voiced by local retailers at the time, the retail outlets have not led to a demise in the existing shops. The Shoe Museum provides information about the history of Clarks and footware manufacture in general.
The Clark family mansion and its estate at the edge of the village is now owned by Millfield School. The company, through the Society of Friends also had its own small sanatorium and convalescent home on Ivythorne Hill overlooking the town. In 1931 this chalet style building was leased over the the Youth Hostel Association and became the first youth hostel in Somerset. It continues this role to the present day.Information & text gathered from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved October 6th, 2014, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Street