York’s Glorious Medieval Past & Its Secrets
York's Medieval Legacy: A Journey Through Time
Early Middle Ages
York's Anglian Past: Settlement, Baptism, and Learning
The Viking Invasions of York
The Early Years: York after the Norman Conquest
Visit York and Discover its Rich Medieval History
The Shambles is one of the most iconic streets in York, known for its rich history and stunning medieval architecture. Originally occupied by butchers in the 14th century, the street still bears the marks of its past with its timber-framed buildings and overhanging upper floors. The name “Shambles” comes from the Saxon word “shamel,” which means a street with a row of stalls or benches.
Today, The Shambles is a popular tourist attraction, drawing visitors from all over the world to marvel at its unique charm. The street is lined with souvenir shops, boutiques, and cafes, but it still retains its historic character, with many shops maintaining their original outdoor shelves and hooks on which meat was displayed. In fact, some of the buildings on The Shambles are so old that they lean inwards and touch each other at the top, creating a magical atmosphere.
Walking through The Shambles is like stepping back in time, as the narrow street twists and turns, revealing hidden corners and unexpected views. It’s easy to imagine what life was like in medieval York as you stroll past the old shop fronts and the distinctive herringbone pattern of the cobblestones. The street is particularly enchanting at night, when the old-fashioned street lamps cast a warm glow over the buildings, creating a magical atmosphere that’s perfect for a romantic evening stroll.
All in all, The Shambles is a true gem of medieval architecture and an essential stop for anyone visiting York.
Wikipedia Contributors. (2023, February 1). History of York. Wikipedia; Wikimedia Foundation. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_York
- McNeil, R., & Nevell, R. (2010). Medieval York: government, economy and society. Continuum.
- Ormrod, W. M. (2011). York in the age of Edward III. Boydell Press
- Prestwich, M. (2003). Plantagenet England, 1225-1360. Oxford University Press
- Rogers, C. J. (2017). The early history of the church of York, 627-1154. Borthwick Publications
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