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1300 in United Kingdom

The Shambles

Story - told by Vladan Dobrenov

In the Ancient city of York in the north of England, there is one street in particular that stand out from the rest. Its name, “Shambles” is an out-dated term meaning an open-air slaughter house where butchers hang and prepare meat for consumption. Granted I’m not painting a very pretty picture but the street that still exists today really is a beautiful piece of history. Its narrow, cobbled street and leaning timber frame buildings seem to usher you along its plethora of shops and eateries and urge you to explore the historic splendour that York has to offer. 

As recently at 1875 the street consisted of 25 butcher shops all of which have long since moved on.


The buildings along the famous Shambles street stretch back to the 14th century, to a time when the sewerage system consisted of nothing but a bucket and the city of York was not a place for the faint of heart. Thankfully, nowadays, the streets are clean, and everyone is welcome. As recently at 1875 the street consisted of 25 butcher shops all of which have long since moved on.

The buildings along the famous Shambles street stretch back to the 14th century.



Although its original occupants have left, many of the shops and eateries have kept a piece of their history with several of them still displaying original meat hooks on the exterior of the buildings. The strange leaning and uneven structures along this quaint little street are a perfectly unique feature in the city of York, with a magical feeling leftover from centuries of history. So, come to York, where Viking and Romans have each left their mark, as well as the local butchers!   

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