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In Tudor towns there were bakers, butchers, fishmongers, brewer, cooks, weavers, tailors and robe makers, washerwomen, shoemakers, building workers and carpenters, smiths and metal workers.
In most towns tradesmen of one kind tended to live and work in the same street e.g. in many towns butchers and slaughterhouses gathered together in a street called the Shambles. (Shambles is an old word meaning a meat market or butcher shop.)
As most people in Tudor times couldn't read, shop keepers had to hang signs outside with pictures on to tell their customers what was for sale.
Tudor towns were dirty, smelly and crowded.
There was no proper drainage in towns. Open sewers often ran down the middle of streets straight into rivers and wells, from where people collected drinking water. All waste was thrown onto the streets including toilet waste. Diseases quickly spread and were very common.
The streets were narrow
Townhouses were built close together on both sides of the street and made the streets gloomy because they blocked the light. The streets were narrow and crowded, this made it easy for criminals to rob and steal from shops, traders and people.
The two photographs below were taken in Canterbury, Kent in 2005. They show the narrow streets with Tudor buildings on either side.
Click here to see an artist impression of what Canterbury may have looked like during the Tudor times.
People usually obtained their water from pumps, wells or from water carriers who carried water in containers on their shoulders.