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York Shambles at Junction with Little Shambles p01

Photograph: The Shambles (York) at its junction with Little Shambles.

Image Description

The image shows the Shambles (York, England) at its junction with Little Shambles. This part of the street is arguably the most characterful, with jettied timber-framed buildings lining both sides of the street. In order to provide a view of the underside of the jettied storeys, the camera was carefully positioned beneath (and very close to) the facade of one of the jettied buildings.

At the top-left of the image, a row of sturdy metal loops can be seen, one loop per overhanging floor joist. Beneath the jettied storey, one of the relatively modern shop windows can be seen. This has permanently enclosed an area that would originally have been open to the street during trading hours. Immediately beneath this window (and beneath the window of the property next door), a thick projecting wooden shelf can be seen. These shelves formed the shop counters (aka 'shamels') from which the street derives its name.

The foreground of the image is dominated by the pavement and cobbled street of the Shambles. The kerb-line leads the eye up towards the centre of the image, where half a dozen people can be seen in the distance. At the heart of the image, two women carrying shopping bags appear to be engaged in conversation as they walk slowly towards the camera.

The top-right quarter of the image is filled with a three-storey, double-jettied, timber-framed building (41-42 Shambles). The ground floor features a door and a row of large, multi-paned shop windows set into brick infill panels. The Shambles-facing facade of the two upper storeys includes a row of smaller multi-paned windows set into rendered infil panels. The gable-end wall (facing Little Shambles) is also jettied, but there is only one window visible and this is on the ground floor. A street sign ('Little Shambles') can be seen on the wall of this building (above the window).

The positioning of the camera emphasises (and slightly exaggerates) the proximity of the buildings' upper storeys and they appear to reach across the Shambles to touch one another. Modern shop-signs hang-down from brackets attached to the upper-storey walls, adding further interest and variety to this part of the image.