The Shambles in York

Mediaeval Butchers, cobbles and Elizabethan architecture… visit The Shambles in York

The Shambles is one of the most ancient streets in Europe. Dating back more than 900 years, the mediaeval street is mentioned in the Domesday Book under its Latin name, In Macello.

The Shambles York

Also one of the most famous streets in Europe, The Shambles, York, is the destination of thousands of tourists from all over the world each year.

The laneway, with its cobbles and quaint buildings, is a near perfect example of mediaeval tudor architecture which today is home to hundreds of shops aimed at the city’s thriving tourism market.

The name “Shambles” comes from the Saxon “Fleshammels”, which means, “the street of the butchers”, for it was here that Yorks butchers market was located. Notice the wide window sills of the houses; the meat for sale was displayed here.
In the middle ages The Shambles would have been much different to the quaint street it is today. Waste would have lined the streets, both from the butchers and domestic, and cattle would have been kept and slaughtered for sale on site.

But in modern times walking down Yorks Shambles is like taking a step back in time to the Elizabethan period.

The buildings that seem to almost fight for space in the street overhang the laneway on the upper levels, sometimes so much so that two people could reach out of windows opposite each other and touch hands.

What was once mostly butcheries and houses are now home to shops selling everything you could imagine, making The Shambles one of the best shopping areas in York. Here you will find everything from high-class designer boutiques to shops selling alternative lifestyle products. Of course, there are also plenty of souvenir shops along The Shambles York…by Kate Wiley

York – Shambles History

An older term for a slaughterhouse is a “shambles”; there are streets named “The Shambles” in some English towns (e.g. Worcester, York) which got their name from having at some time been the location of a slaughterhouse. The Shambles in York is now a very popular destination, being a beautiful old street with overhanging timber-built shops, and it’s now occupied by souvenir shops instead of butchers. If you’re visiting York The Shambles is one street you shouldn’t miss seeing.

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