This is Stroud's market place. The name 'Shambles' means a slaughter-house, and this is where the butchers sold their meat on tables let down from the walls - two of which survive at the south end. In 1742, John Wesley preached here, standing on a butcher's chopping block.
The site was originally occupied by John of Pridie and was known as Pridie's Hay or Pridie's Hay Acre. He gave it to the inhabitants of Stroud, and it is now administered by the town feoffees.