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Tours > Ancient York > The Shambles

David Ford, History Editor Ancient York
by David Nash Ford BA,
Editor, History on Britannia

The Shambles
Between King's Court & Pavement

The Shambles, York This most idyllic of York streets stands in the city's main shopping area, away from the Minster to the north. A narrow, pedestrianized shopping street stretching from Pavement to Newgate, it is crowded with tiny shops that sell all manner of gifts and souvenirs from the ancient city it epitomises. Its timber-framed medieval overhangs seem to almost touch as they cut the light from the sky above.

Here, you can imagine yourself back in the York of the Middle Ages. Yet, while the hustle and bustle remains, the name betrays what the shops should really be selling. For shambles or, more properly, 'fleshammels' are the wide slab benches (still to be seen) where butchers spread out their prize joints for customer inspection.

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