Street Town History
The reason in part for the fairly recent expansion of Street is the shoe-making firm of C&J Clark, which started in Street in 1825. In mid-Victorian times Street was a tanning centre for the manufacture of sheepskin rugs and shoes, but as the industrial revolution spread, so shoe making developed from a "craft-outworker" cottage industry to a factory, mass-production activity. Nowadays, Clarks is a household name for shoes throughout the world, and this multi-national company still has its headquarters in Street.
The second largest employer in the town is education; Street is the home of Millfield, the public school with an enormous international reputation. There is also a modern Tertiary College and many excellent infant and junior schools, as well as a large secondary school in the town.
Street boasts of many amenities unusual for a village, and these include a theatre, two swimming pools (one indoor and one outdoor), and also a modern sports club.
In the centre of the town is Crispin Hall, built at the end of the 19th century. It now serves the community with shops, markets, and advice centres.
There is also a factory shopping complex - Clarks Village - just off the High Street; the first purpose built factory shopping scheme in the UK, offering top quality branded goods at discount prices. The retail outlets sell a wide range of merchandise, and are located in a picturesque landscaped setting, with a shoe museum, restaurant, picnic and children's play areas on site, and outdoor entertainment in the peak season.