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Shambles Tips (50)

A Great Historic Street...

The Shambles is a fantastic Medieval street, dating from the 14th Century. It has been mentioned in the Domesday book of 1086. The name means 'street of butchers'and is derived from 'fleshammels' which were ledges outside the shops for displaying meat. The close overhanging houses provided shade to prevent the meat from going off. Nowadays you'll find a wonderfull variety of independant shops from Jewellers to a lovely looking Chocolate shop.

Myfanwe's Profile Photo
Jul 17, 2010

The Shambles

The Shambles is a great lane that was once the home to the City's Butcher's were the annimals which would have been kept at the back of the shops would be slaughtered and cut up and sold. The wide gunnels in the road would once have been full of the waste as the blood and offal be thrown into the street where mixing with other waste and water to run away. The street is said to be Europes best preserved Medieval street and it was even mentioned in the Doomsday book.
It now houses some great chocolateas well as other specialist shops.

Halfway down is a shrine to Margeret Clitheroe who was a Butchers wife and a Roman Catholic at the time when Catholics were persecuted for their faith. She was arrested and tried for sheltering Jesuit priests and fior celebrating Mass. She was executed in 1586 on the Ouse Bridge by being crushed to death under a door with heavy boulders placed on it.

Balam's Profile Photo
Jul 07, 2010

Shambles - Famous street

The Shambles is a narrow medieval street, a few minutes walk from York Minster. It was mentioned in the Doomsday Book under it's Latin name - In Marcello. The word Shambles derives from the medieval word Shamel meaning bench or booth. It was a street of butchers and in 1872 the number of butchers recorded was 26.

It is now a tourist spot with many shops, and if you look up you can see how at the far end of the street the buildings were so close you can imagine people shaking hands across the street from an upstairs window.

joanj's Profile Photo
Nov 23, 2009

Medieval Street

The Shambles is a beautifully preserved medieval shopping street. It was home in medieval times to the cities butchers. Shambles comes from the Saxon word "Fleshammels". This means "the street of the butchers".

Today most of the street is made up of cafes & gift shops. As you walk down the narrow street, try to imagine it in medieval times. The street would be awash with waste from the butchers & domestic waste thrown from the overhanging windows.

tim07's Profile Photo
Aug 20, 2009
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The Shambles is a must. A...

The Shambles is a must. A small street of butchers, well it was, althouth now touristy full of little shops including one that sells Whitby Jet, you can still get a feel of what is was like in its previous existence.

markwalk's Profile Photo
Nov 02, 2008


The Shambles is the oldest street in York and stretches from the Pavement nearly to Low Petergate. This narrow and short medieval street is best characterized by its very picturesque timber-framed buildings with some of the oldest dating back as far as the 14th century. The street name derives from its original activity as an open-air slaughterhouse where butchers used to slaughter livestoch and sell its flesh to the local population. The blood and other waste were washed away by a runnel running along the street extension which still can be seen today as the pavements on either side of the street are raised up creating a depression in the middle used to wash away the waste. Today, the street is populated with shops and restaurants and is a York must-see being one of the most visited streets in Europe.

Ricmenoli's Profile Photo
Sep 02, 2008

The Shambles

This is a few cobbled streets with overhanging Tudor buildings. The Shambles is a really busy area of York, it is the most visited street in the UK and it has a good selection of shops, restaurants. You can take a ghost walk or an historical tour through the Shambles. The 15th century buildings lean into the middle of the streets and that means that the roof almost touch. The Shambles is Yorks oldest street, it was mentioned in the Doomsday Book. That makes it more then 900 years old. It is thought to be Europes best preserved Medieval street

The name Shambles comes from the Saxon word "shamel" which means "slaughterhouse". In fact the street was historically a street of butchers shops – records from 1872 show that there were 26 butchers on the street. Animals were also slaughtered on the Shambles.
If you look you can see that the pavements are raised up on each side of the street. This was done so that a channel was made through which the butchers washed their wash away.

margaretvn's Profile Photo
Apr 27, 2008

The Shambles

What can I say about the Shambles that has not already been written about? Here is one of Englands narrowest streets that thankfully survived the Baedecker air raids of 1942. On first impressions it is a fairly long street but once you get to walk down it as many times as I do it really is quite short. Thankfully not turned in to a Disney style fun medieval street and although the shops in the street are mainly tourist oriented they do retain a sense of realism. My tip for this street - go by all means through the day but for real atmosphere walk down it on a wet winters night when there will be few people in the street.

Britannia2's Profile Photo
Mar 29, 2008
Britannia2's Profile Photo


"York - potential capital of the north"
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ettiewyn's Profile Photo


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barryg23's Profile Photo


"The Old Capital of the North"
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leics's Profile Photo


"History and shopping."
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Balam's Profile Photo


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Over 900 years old, Shambles is York's oldest street -- as you can see from my photo the buildings lean towards each other and it really gives the feeling of being transported back in time to the 15th century or something like that. Of course the usual novelty shops but lots of normal shops as well where you can buy food or drinks etc -- it's only a small street but you must go and see it.

Ben-UK's Profile Photo
Oct 15, 2007

The Shambles

Don't miss visiting the Shambles, even if it's the most touristy street in York. The narrow street, at one spot you could literally reach across the street and join hands on the upper floors, with darling old medieval shops is now converted into shops selling gifts and sweets.

The name "Shambles" comes from the Saxon word "Fleshammels" or street of the butchers, this was where York's butcher's market was located.

A couple of items to note, look for the wide window sills of the houses where the meat for sale was displayed and also for the hanging meat hooks.

Also the home of Margaret Clitherow, arrested in 1586 for harboring Catholic priests and condemned to death by pressing (crushing beneath a heavy weight-yikes!). She was later canonized and her home is now a shrine.

Dabs's Profile Photo
Jun 07, 2007


The best local Yarn shop on the Shambles is called Sheepish. This is the "designer" street of local touristie stuff. You can get the tradtional butchers, there are numerous chocolate shop, and a coin shop. There is a place for dramatic photographs, and wood workers too. It is the oldest medieval street in the city. And it feels like it. It is a lovely lane to enjoy and central enough to everything!
For a pint, or a visit to the"most haunted carriage inn" at the Golden Fleece. Having a Cheap tea at a charity shop in a Church, accross the street.
There are several pasty places to be found here as well.

Also the Shrine to St. Margert is also on the SHambles and it offeres a quiet and contemplative though sparse chapel. It is a wonderful experince

ChartIt's Profile Photo
May 14, 2007


The Small Shambles is the extremely short passageway between the Shambles and the Market. Supposedly Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate is the shortest street in York (with the longest name). Well, Little Shambles would be very close! Please read my ‘Big Shambles’ tip above for the history of both these historical roadways.

DAO's Profile Photo
Mar 18, 2007

Things To Do Near Shambles

Things to do

Past Images - CLOSED

Why don't you commerate your visit to this city by posing in medieval wear for a picture to show the folks back home, or in our case, to show the folks of VT ;-) It was a sweltering 30C in York the...
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Things to do

Shrine of St. Margaret Clitherow

The shrine of Margaret Clitherow is in the Shambles York ,she is an english saint and martyr of the roman catholic church.. Born in York in 1556 her father was of the english church.She married John...
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Things to do

Gert and Henry's

Gert & Henry's is the name of a Restaurant that is near the Market. The building is an old Tudor House, built in 1600 and restored for use as a Restaurant in 1929. It is a two-storey, gabled and...
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Things to do

Shambles Market - Newgate Market

I was surprised! EVERY DAY THEY HOLD A MARKET IN YORK, and even on a cold and wet day, the Market was being held. Early morning, and people were setting up in the rain, I really felt sorry for...
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Things to do

Roman Bath Inn

The Roman Baths Inn is situated in a lovely position overlooking Samsons Square in the centre of York. In 1930 it was discovered that the site of the Roman baths was in the foundations below the Pub....
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Things to do

Merchant Adventurers' Hall

I saw Theatre in the Mill's Jekyll & Hyde at the Merchant Adventurers' Hall undercroft (Please read my review here) in March (2015). The Merchant Adventurers' Hall, built in 1357, is a medieval...
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Getting to Shambles


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  • Sunday 10:00 to 17:00
  • Monday 10:00 to 17:00
  • Tuesday 10:00 to 17:00
  • Wednesday 10:00 to 17:00
  • Thursday 10:00 to 17:00
  • Friday 10:00 to 17:00
  • Saturday 10:00 to 17:00