Glastonbury was went on record as a settlement for the first time in the late 7th or early 8th century by the name of Glestingaburg. In the 7th century BC the sea level swelled and the valley was flooded. All the land around Glastonbury was low lying so the people of the Mesolithic period would set up camps seasonally at the ground that was higher. There are remains of these camps in the form of scattered flints. Wooden tracks were laid but eh Neolithic people to get the natural resources out of the reed swamps. One of these is the Sweet Track. It is the oldest road and wooden trackway on record for North Europe. The tree rings in the wood used to construct the road has been dated back to 3806 BC. It may very well be the oldest track worldwide.
The track was found in 1970 while there was some peat digging being done by Ray Sweet, its name sake. It stretches from the marsh for an island at Westhay that was there at the time of its construction and some high ground at Shapwick about 1.25 miles away. It is included in the Somerset Levels network of tracks that were constructed in the 39th century BC. It was first built of ash, oak and lime crossed poles that were drove in the ground that was soaked with water to hold up the walk way. The walk way itself was made of planks of oak that were set end on end.
The bulk of the track is still in its starting location and hundreds of meters have been conserved by a system that pumps the water away. There are some parts that are being held in the British Museum in London. Near Glastonbury at the Peat Morrs Center there is a reconstruction project underway. After the Sweet Track was found, further investigation revealed it was actually a replacement for a previous track that was older by about thirty years named the Post Track.
The town mainly depended on the abbey that was established there during the Middle Ages but the economy was also supported by the 18th century wool industry. The Abbey was joined to the River Bure by a canal from the Saxon period. In 1705 is when the town was officially incorporated. The Glastonbury canal construction lead to a boost in trade and local building. The abbey was dissolved in 1539 and the last Abbot was killed along side his monks in November.
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