Shambles Square

Shambles Square is now in its third incarnation in Manchester, due to it having been moved twice as part of the post-war re-development of Manchester city centre and as a result of the 1996 IRA bomb. The original Shambles, on the corner of Market Street, got its name from the "shambles", or butchers' stalls, which used to stand opposite the inns at the Saturday market, and is now under where Harvey Nichols now stands. The area was demolished in the 1960s as part of the Arndale 'improvements' to this part of Manchester. Due to intense lobbying, Sinclairs Oyster Bar and the Old Wellington (two of Manchesters oldest buildings) were saved from the bulldozer and were lifted up 15 feet and moved several hundred feet laterally to a new position within the newly created Shambles Square. This area was close to the epi-centre of the IRA bomb in 1996 and suffered extensive damage. The modern concrete buildings surrounding Shambles Square were damaged beyond repair and have been knocked down to make way for Harvey Nicholls. Luckily the two pubs were sheltered from the worst of the blast by the surrounding buildings and were saved. They were moved to a new location bounded by the Cathedral ,Mitre Inn and the Corn Exchange. The two buildings look the same, but some of the character has somehow been lost in the move. The small open area created outside the two pubs has been named Shambles Square, but is little more than a pub beer garden.

Sinclairs Oyster Bar      Old Wellington Inn

Shambles Square 2005


Shambles Square before 1996 bomb


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