In the centre of the Shambles is the Royal Oak which is the town's oldest inn. It was first recorded as an inn in 1772 but in medieval times there was a rest house here for the Knights Templar, an order of Crusaders.

The Shambles in 1887. - Alan Taylor

The Shambles in 1887.

Thanks to Alan Taylor

Royal Oak restoration in 1898 - Alan Taylor

Royal Oak restoration in 1898.

Thanks to Alan Taylor

The Shambles and Royal Oak Public House, - 1910. - Alan Taylor

The Shambles and Royal Oak Public House, - 1910.

Thanks to  Alan Taylor

The Royal Oak, - 1910 - Alan Taylor

The Royal Oak, - 1910.

Thanks to Alan Taylor

Shambles - Jacqui Wilkinson

 Thanks to Jacqui Wilkinson

Shambols - Kev Walton

Shambles -

Thanks to Kev Walton

Shambles in the early 1940's. - Paul Greenroad

Shambles in the early 1940's

Thanks to Paul Greenroad

The Royal Oak Public House, The Shambles, 1952 - Alan Taylor

The Royal Oak Public House, The Shambles, 1952.

Thanks to Alan Taylor

Shambles in the 1970s - Alan Taylor

A view through Shambles in the 1970s, with almost the only surviving parts of the original stalls on the left. The well-Known ship shop in still there although now with a ‘closed’ notice on the window. Stanley Shackleton’s hairdressing Solon is on the right, now a part of Lloyd’s Bank.

Thanks to Alan Taylor

The Royal Oak Inn - 2004
Public house. C16, with C18 additions, restored late C19. Close studded timber framing, jettied above ground floor brickwork, with later additions in brick. Welsh slate and plain tile roof coverings. Earlier range to north, of 2 storeys, and C18 range to south of 3 storeys. NORTH RANGE; close studded framing with tension-braced corners. North wall with 2, 3-light timber mullioned oriel windows, each supported on 4 curved brackets. Lights with pointed heads, and with single side lights to returns. Crenellated cill band. Jettied gables (now underbuilt), that to the west with C19 oriel window. Blocked doorway with shallow Tudor arched lintol. East, west and north elevations face onto pedestrian ways within The Shambles. SOUTH RANGE: west elevation with brick storey bands (that below first floor windows damaged). 3-window front, but 2 to the upper floor which are 2- and 3-light sliding casements. Ground floor windows with stained glass are C20. Small blocked window looks north from projecting side of building. East elevation roughcast, the southern part with late C19 features. Casement and sash windows, those to the north end at ground floor level with later stained glass. Centre doorway with moulded architrave. INTERIOR: south range now open to the roof, with central roof truss, purlins, rafters and braces visible from lower bar area. Simple timber internal lobby to doorway in east gable with half- glazed door. Continuous bench seating to south ,west and north walls. North range with C18 wind-braced single purlin roof supported by collar and tie beam truss. Ground floor bar area with simple bench seating, and half-glazed doors. Encased spine beams to underdrawn ceilings. Brick vaulted cellar. The ground floor areas of the 2 ranges are linked by an opening in the east side wall of the north range, in which sits a C20 main bar counter. This serves to retain the separation of the 2 areas, each of which has a distinctive character, representing the individual and different architectural qualities of the 2 main phases of development.