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Our history

The Shambles is often called Europe's best preserved street, although the name is also used to collectively refer to the surrounding maze of narrow, twisting lanes and alleys as well. The street itself is mentioned in the Doomsday book. So, we know it has been in continuous existence for over 900 years.

The Shambles has the effect of a time machine, transporting you back to the Elizabethan period. In some places the street  is so narrow that if you stand with arms outstretched you can touch the houses on both sides.

The name "Shambles" comes from the Saxon "Fleshammels", which means, "the street of the butchers", for it was here that the city's butcher's market was located. Also the word Shambles derives from the Medieval word "Shamel", which means booth. Notice the wide window sills of the houses; the meat for sale was displayed here.

The butcher's shops have now been replaced with shops catering to visitors, including jewelry and antiques. Indeed The Shambles is now one of the premier shopping areas in the city of York.

The Shambles, Yorkshire England

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Chris Spracklen Sprackarts

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