Shopping In The Past, The Shambles

There are many shopping destinations in York, but nothing quite like the shambles. As streets go, you will not find any quite as unique, located anywhere else in England. Some of the buildings were constructed as far back as the fourteenth century, still standing overhead today, though the street is so small, two people can actually touch each other through the open top windows. Many of the shops still hold those distinct smells of medieval materials and lifestyles, as though you have just walked into the past.

Based in the street, there is a shrine dedicated to Saint Margaret Clitherow, who once married a butcher that possessed a shop there. Margaret is famously known to be called the Pearl Of York. She wedded John Clitherow in 1571, and after having 3 children together, she became a Roman Catholic in 1574, even though the Catholic population were facing heavy criticism and persecution. She is acknowledged to have held many meetings and worships at her home in the Shambles.

There were no real systems in place for the stores to throw their waste, so it would be chaotically thrown out into the middle of the street, where it would be hoped that it washed away. The residents would have been prone to dire diseases and atrocious smells as the waste decayed and meats were cut.

The enchantment of the buildings has continued to fascinate the masses, leaving people to position themselves in the lives of the previous owners, who once resided there in a period many years ago. The Shambles bring to life the past and tourists from around the world flock here year round. As a credit to England’s history, the Shambles only make up a small proportion of what York has to offer.