Thursday, 23 February 2012

The Shambles, York


The Shambles in York is a famous old street right in the centre of the walled city.  In 2010 it won the Google Street View award for 'the most picturesque street in Britain' and you can probably see why.  It's also said to be 'the most visited street in Europe' - so it's usual to find it thronged with tourists.  It is York's oldest street, mentioned in the Domesday Book (making it over 900 years old).  The buildings you see date from the fifteenth century and are so crowded together that the overhanging first storeys almost look as though they're touching.  The medieval word 'Shamel' meant a booth or a bench and the street was originally a row of butcher's shops and houses, with produce laid out on benches and hung on hooks outside.  Meat was slaughtered there and the road has a central channel to catch the blood and offal.  Nowadays the shops sell mostly gifts and trinkets to appeal to tourists.

14 comments:

  1. That's a shot that could only be B&W. Very nice tones, too.

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  2. What an attractive and fabulous place! i think I would try to come back at night, to better imagine how it was in past times..

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  3. What a wonderful name for a street ....I can see why it won the Google award .

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  4. There used to be a decent bookshop near the top - no doubt it has gone the way of all butchers' flesh by now.

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  5. It looks as if it could have been the inspiration for J. K. Rowling's Diagon Alley. Did you see any wand shops along the way?

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  6. That would be a street for me ! Even without the Google Street view award !

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  7. Nice B&W Photo. The tourists look a bit shambolic too...

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  8. I've enjoyed many ambles through the Shambles and your photo describes it wonderfully.

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  9. What a classic beauty of a place! ~Lili

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  10. Wow - I have to go there one day! Love your shot Jenny.

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  11. It is a true classic, Jenny.

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  12. A fabulous street. Living history. It looks like a movie set.

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  13. I've visited the Shambles. I'm not particularly surprised it was voted 'most picturesque' but I'd like to know how that was decided. :-) I recall strolling through there one evening in November and more or less having the place to myself.

    Being 'most visited' would scare me off from visiting practically anywhere.

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  14. It's a good while since I've been there. It is attractive and my first thought was for a cream tea there -- then the ever practical me took over. If it is the most visited street, its prices would likely be 'tourist' prices.

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