Custom Search


The Shambles

The Shambles is a medieval shopping street in York, although the name is also used to refer to a surrounding maze of alleys and lanes.

The Shambles is mentioned in the Domesday Book, which means it is at least nine hundred years old. Many of the buildings are fourteenth century, and give an idea of England during the Wars of the Roses and early Tudor times. The Shambles was originally the part of York where butchers carried on their trade. In 1872 there were twenty six butchers on the street, although none remain today. Wide window sills were used to display meat, and many of these survive. Today the Shambles is one of York's leading shopping areas with shops selling a wide range of goods, often designed to appeal to tourists.









A shop in the Shambles showing the shelves once used to display meat

Aside from its history as an ancient shopping street, the Shambles has the Shrine of Margaret Clitherow, who was executed in 1586, for being openly Catholic in Elizabethan England. Her house was probably Number 10 The Shambles, now the home of the Past Images attraction, offering photography in period costumes. This is the only house in the street with a priest hole. It was for the crime of harbouring priests that Margaret was arrested.


Directions: The Shambles is in the middle of York. From the Coppergate shopping centre follow Pavement north. The Shambles is the first turning on the left. Click here for an interactive map centred on the Shambles.







Contact: For Official Shambles web site

For Past Images -

address: 10, Shambles,York YO1 7LZ

telephone: 01904 676167

web site:



©2007 InfoBritain (updated 01/13)