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Shambles

Highly picturesque, though with a mundane history

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Recently voted the prettiest street in England, the Shambles is a short, medieval cobbled street most visitors remember.

Tip The large numbers of people seeking the street out can mean that it gets crowded, so earlier in the morning or late afternoon are the best times to plan a visit if that bothers you.

Its name gives its more down-to-earth origins away, however, for shambles is an old word for a butcher’s slaughterhouse.

Now it features souvenir shops and cafés, but well into the twentieth century it was lined with butcher’s shops, one after another, with animal blood allowed to run along its specially deep gutters.
Look closely at the shop fronts and you will still see some of the hooks where the meat was hung, and the special wide ledges in front of the windows where it was laid out on display.

Tip  Keep an eye open: The Shambles also sports a large number of very short snickelways. The ones leading off to the market are good ones for snickelway-hopping (walking through, dodging out again from the next one a few feet down the road).

TIME Allow up to an hour

NEARBY Fossgate, Markets, Margaret Clitherow Shrine, Henshelwood’s Deli, Merchant Adventurers Hall, Whipmawhopmagate


At A Glance

Address:
Shambles
York
Price:
n/a

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