Shambles (also known as ‘The Shambles’) is a bustling centre piece of historic York. The street today is one of the UK’s most visited.The way that fifteenth century buildings lean into the middle of the cobbled street means that the roofs almost touch in the middle. Mentioned in the Domesday book (making it date over 900 years), we know Shambles to be York ‘s oldest street, and Europe’s best preserved Medieval street. It really is a very special place.
The word Shambles originates from the Medieval word Shamel, which meant booth or bench. It was once also referred to as Flesshammel, a word with meaning around flesh; this is because Shambles was historically a street of butchers shops and houses. Records state that in1872 there were 26 butchers on the street. The last butcher to trade on Shambles was at number 27 of the name Dewhurst. Livestock was slaughtered on Shambles also, the meat was served over what are now the shop window bottoms, and these were originally the Shamels.
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