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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 55°50′48″N 4°25′25″W / 55.846627°N 4.423636°W / 55.846627; -4.423636

Scottish Gaelic: Pàislig
Paisley Town Hall.jpg
Paisley Town Hall
Paisley is located in Scotland

 Paisley shown within Scotland
Population 74,000 
OS grid reference NS485635
    - Edinburgh  49 mi (79 km) E 
    - London  347 mi (558 km) SSE 
Council area Renfrewshire
Lieutenancy area Renfrewshire
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town PAISLEY
Postcode district PA1 - PA3
Dialling code 0141 & 01505
Police Strathclyde
Fire Strathclyde
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
UK Parliament Paisley and Renfrewshire North
Paisley and Renfrewshire South
Scottish Parliament Paisley North
Paisley South
West of Scotland
List of places: UK • Scotland •

Paisley (Scottish Gaelic: Pàislig) is a town and a former burgh in the west-Central Lowlands of Scotland. It is situated on the northern edge of the Gleniffer Braes, straddling the banks of the River Cart. Paisley is the administrative capital of the Renfrewshire council area, and forms a continuous urban area with Greater Glasgow, Glasgow City Centre being 6.9 miles (11.1 km) to the east.



Map of Paisley in 1923

Formerly known as Paislay[1] and in some parts of Britain, still known as Parsley,[citation needed] the burgh's name is of uncertain origin; some sources suggest a derivation either from the Brythonic word, pasgill, 'pasture', or more likely, passeleg - 'basilica', (i.e. major church), itself derived from the Greek basilika. However, some Scottish place-name books {which?} suggest "Pæssa's wood/clearing", from the Old English personal name Pæssa and leāh - "clearing, wood". Pasilege (1182) and Paslie (1214) are recorded previous spellings of the name.

Paisley has monastic origins. A chapel is said to have been established by the 6th/7th century Irish monk, Saint Mirin at a site near a waterfall on the White Cart Water known as the Hammils. Though Paisley lacks contemporary documentation it may have been, along with Glasgow and Govan, a major religious centre of the Kingdom of Strathclyde. A priory was established in 1163 from the Cluniac priory at Wenlock in Shropshire, England at the behest of Walter Fitzalan (d. 1177) High Steward of Scotland. In 1245 this was raised to the status of an Abbey. The restored Abbey and adjacent 'Place' (palace), constructed out of part of the medieval claustral buildings, survive as a Church of Scotland parish church. One of Scotland's major religious houses, Paisley Abbey was much favoured by the Bruce and Stewart royal families. It is generally accepted that William Wallace the great hero of Scottish independence who inspired the film Braveheart was educated here. King Robert III (1390-1406) was buried in the Abbey. His tomb has not survived, but that of Princess Marjorie Bruce (1296-1316), ancestor of the Stewarts, is one of Scotland's few royal monuments to survive the Reformation.

Paisley coalesced under James II's wish that the lands should become a single regality and, as a result, markets, trading and commerce began to flourish. In 1488 the town's status was raised by James IV to Burgh of barony.

Many trades sprang up and the first school was established in 1577 by the Town Council. By the mid-nineteenth century weaving had become the town's principal industry. Paisley is still very well-known for the Paisley Shawl and its reproduction Paisley Pattern, which became fashionable around this time.[2]

Through its weaving fraternity, Paisley gained note as being a literate and somewhat radical town. By this time there was a real mixture of religious opinions and healthy drink-fueled debate raged at night amongst the weavers, poets, merchants, masons and others. The poet Robert Tannahill lived in this setting, working as a weaver. The weavers of Paisley were also active in the Radical War of 1820.


Paisley's location locally and nationally

The town is surrounded by several large residential areas that were created after the Housing Act of 1946. These include Glenburn (south), Foxbar (south west), Ferguslie Park (north west), Gallowhill (North East) and Hunterhill (South East). Ferguslie Park was named by the Scottish Executive as the most deprived area in Scotland in 2006.[3]

Castlehead, situated to the south-west of the centre of the town, is a wooded area of Victorian villas where many of the town's leading industrialists made their homes in the late 19th century. It is a conservation area.

Oakshaw, situated on a hill to the north of the High Street, is a conservation area and home to many fine buildings including the High Kirk, the Coats Observatory and the former John Neilson Institute, now converted into apartments.

Thornly Park is located to the south of the town. The area is classed as a conservation area with many examples of various architecture ranging from mock Tudor to Art Deco. Many of the houses were designed by W D McLennan, who also designed several local churches such as Saint Matthew's.

Nearer the centre of the town remains many areas of older housing. The town centre, Williamsburgh and Charleston areas contain many examples of Scottish tenement flats. Three to four stories tall, with shops on the ground floor and constructed of local blond and red sandstone, these tenement flats have been extensively restored and modernised over the last two decades.

Gockston in the far north of the town has many terraced houses and, after regeneration has many detached and semi-detached houses as well as several blocks of flats.

Ralston a residential area in the far east of the town bordering Glasgow was outside the Paisley burgh boundary when constructed in the 1930s but, as a result of local authority re-organisation in the 1990s, it is now generally regarded as a suburb of Paisley.

Dykebar, situated to the south east of the centre of the town, is a residential area which is also the site of a secure psychiatric hospital.


Advertisement for the Ferguslie Thread Works in the 1867 Paris World Fair catalogue
Several ties showing the Paisley pattern that made the town famous in the 19th century

Paisley was at one time famous for its weaving industry. For nearly a hundred years until the 1870s shawls of the Paisley pattern were in fashion. Until the Jacquard loom was introduced in the 1820s, weaving was a cottage industry. This innovation led to the industrialisation of the process. As a result, many weavers lost their livelihoods and left for Canada and Australia.

Paisley was for many years a centre for the manufacture of cotton sewing thread. At the heyday of Paisley thread manufacture in the 1930s, there were 28,000 people employed in the huge Anchor and Ferguslie mills of J & P Coats Ltd (Coats Viyella) said to be the largest of their kind in the world at that time. In the 1950s, the mills diversified into the production of synthetic threads but with cheap foreign imports and the establishment by Coats of mills in India and Brazil the writing was on the wall for Paisley and production began to diminish rapidly. By the end of the 1980s, there was no thread being produced in Paisley. However, both industries have left a permanent mark on the town in the form of the many places with textile related names, for example, Dyer's Wynd, Cotton Street, Thread Street, Shuttle Street, Lawn Street, Silk Street, Mill Street, Gauze Street and Incle Street.[citation needed]

The town also supported a number of engineering works some of which relied on the textile industry, others on shipbuilding.

In the mid 1970s, industry in Paisley went into rapid decline. The preserve manufacturer Robertsons which was founded in Paisley in the 1860s was taken over by Rank Hovis McDougall who closed its Stevenson Street factory and transferred production to Bristol, Manchester and London. This closure was followed by those of the engineering firms of Fullerton, Hodgart and Barclay and Whites Engineering.[citation needed]

In 1981, the area was dealt a massive blow when Peugeot Talbot, formerly Chrysler and before that Rootes, announced that their Linwood factory just outside of Paisley would cease production.[4] Almost 5000 workers were laid off. The knock on effect on other businesses in the area was immeasurable and, despite numerous regeneration projects, Linwood has never recovered.[citation needed]

Brown and Polson commenced producing starch and cornflour in Paisley in the 1860s. It later became CPC Foods Ltd, a subsidiary of Unilever, which produced Hellmann's mayonnaise, Gerber baby foods and Knorr soups. The company ceased production in Paisley in 2002.[citation needed]

Other businesses to have closed since the 1990s are the Scottish Gas distribution and service centre, Cadbury's distribution centre and William Grant & Sons the Scotch whisky producer which moved production to Strathclyde Business Park near Bellshill in Lanarkshire.[citation needed]

Some of the remaining employers in the town are Scotch whisky blenders and bottlers Chivas Brothers now a subsidiary of Pernod Ricard and the pigment manufactory of the Swiss company Ciba Geigy. Both companies employ considerably fewer people than in the past.[citation needed]

Glasgow Airport is a key economic magnet.[citation needed] Loganair's registered office is located by the airport in Paisley.[5]

The public sector is now the main employer in Paisley, with the headquarters of Renfrewshire Council, the University of the West of Scotland, Reid Kerr College, the Royal Alexandra Hospital and a divisional headquarters of Strathclyde Police all located in the town.[citation needed]


In the 1960s the town centre underwent considerable redevelopment resulting in the demolition of the County Buildings in County Square and the adjacent police station and town gaol. These fine Victorian edifices were replaced by the brutalist concrete Gilmour House and the Piazza shopping centre which spans the White Cart Water.


Paisley Abbey

Paisley Abbey was the burial place of many Scottish Kings during the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries.

The nave (west) of Paisley Abbey provides an example of original Medieval architecture dating to the 12th century. The earliest surviving architecture is the south-east doorway in the nave from the cloister, which has a round arched doorway typical of Romanesque or Norman architecture which was the prevalent architectural style before the adoption of Gothic. The choir (east end) and tower date to the late 19th and early 20th centuries and are examples of Gothic Revival architecture. They were reconstructed in three main phases of restorations with the tower and choir conforming to the designs of Dr Peter MacGregor Chalmers. The roof in the nave is the most recent of restorations with the plaster ceiling by Dr Rev. Boog which was added in the 1790s being replaced by a timber roof in 1981.

Other notable buildings

Paisley Town Hall (the George A. Clark Town Hall) was funded by Clarks, the owners of the Anchor thread mill. In response, their main competitor in the production of thread in the town, Sir Peter Coats, funded the building of the equally magnificent Paisley Museum and Library in 1871. These, and many other remarkably grand buildings in Paisley, testify to the power, influence and success of the textile industry in the town.

Thomas Coats Memorial Church

The Thomas Coats Memorial Church is an example of Gothic Revival architecture. It dominates the town's skyline with its crown spire more than 60 metres high. Opened in 1894 and designed by Hippolyte Jean Blanc[6] it is the largest Baptist church in Europe. The exterior is made of old red sandstone. Inside, the church is decorated with wood carvings, mosaic floors and marble fonts. The church also contains a 3040 pipe Hill Organ.

Catholic Cathedral of Saint Mirin, Paisley, Scotland

The Cathedral Church of Saint Mirin (St Mirin's Cathedral) in Incle Street is the seat of the Catholic Bishop of Paisley. The church was completed in 1931 to replace an earlier building, in nearby East Buchanan Street, which dated from 1808. The original St Mirin's church was the first Catholic church to be built in Scotland since the Reformation. With the erection of the Diocese of Paisley in 1947 the church was raised to cathedral status.

St Matthew's Church (Church of the Nazarene) at the junction of Gordon Street and Johnston Street is Art Nouveau in style. Designed by local architect William Daniel McLennan, a contemporary of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, it was built in 1906.

The Russell Institute was built in 1926.[7]

The "A"[8] listed Anchor Mill (built 1886)[9] was converted, in 2005, into modern apartments. The building is an example of successful redevelopment of old industrial areas.

Paisley Civic Centre designed by Hutcheson, Locke and Monk, a young firm of architects selected as winners of a national (International?) competition and was built in the 1960s to house the Town Council and Renfrewshire County Council Renfrewshire offices. It was intended to become the civic hub for Paisley but the absence of any shops and non-council premises prevented this from happening.[10] It became the home of the Renfrew sub-region of Strathclyde Regional Council in 1975 and of Renfrewshire Council in 1996. It is listed by the conservation organisation DoCoMoMo as one of the sixty key Scottish monuments of the post-war period.


In 1992, Paisley College of Technology, founded in 1896 as Paisley Central Institution, became the University of Paisley which merged with Bell College in Hamilton on the 1st of August, 2007. The merged institution was then renamed as the University of The West of Scotland on the 30th of November 2007. The town also contains Reid Kerr College, which provides Further Education. There are four Secondary Schools in Paisley: Paisley Grammar School, Castlehead High School, St. Andrew's Academy and Gleniffer High School. The oldest of these is Paisley Grammar which was founded in 1576, and first building erected in 1586.

Until the late 1990s, there were five more secondary schools, now no longer in existence having been the casualties of the reduction in pupil numbers - Merksworth High School (to the north west of the town), John Neilson High School (founded 1852) and St Mirin's High School (on the west side of the town), St Aelred's High School and Stanely Green High School (both on the south side of the town).

Notable people

Well established names in the arts, media and sport from Paisley include






Viewers in Paisley can receive all the UK terrestrial channels and radio listeners can receive all the major UK stations plus a number of local services. The local daily newspaper is the Paisley Daily Express, which has offices located on New Street in the town centre of Paisley. The locally based radio station Q96 has gone off air and has been replaced with 96.3 Rock Radio. Despite being based in Easterhouse, Glasgow, the terms of the licence state that it must carry Renfrewshire based material.


St Mirren F.C., the local Paisley Scottish Premier League football team, were given planning permission to move to a new 8,029 seat stadium from their home on the town's Love Street, to one located on Greenhill Road to help regenerate the deprived Ferguslie Park area. Their last major cup tournament success was on 16 May 1987[12] when St Mirren won the Scottish Cup, with thousands crowding the streets to see the team. Since then, the club has won the Scottish First division title twice, in the 1999-2000 season, and in the 2005-2006 season, as well as winning the Bell's challenge cup in 2005. Mirren is actually the female equivalent of the name Mirin the town's patron saint.

In 2006, the team won the Scottish Football League First Division and has returned to the Scottish Premier League. They have a very active youth development system and are part of the social fabric of the town. This was demonstrated when at a Renfrewshire Council planning committee board meeting on the new stadium and supermarket to replace Love Street came to be heard. With the initial recommendation that St. Mirren be denied permission for the supermarket but allowed the stadium, something that threatened the future of the club due to the supermarket being only solution to clear its debts, some 300[citation needed] buddies stood outside the final meeting of Renfrewshire Council in Cotton Street on a dry Tuesday Morning in support. The club was granted permission at this meeting with a majority vote of 9-5[citation needed] in favour. Abercorn F.C. were Paisley's other professional team, but fell into decline and subsequent liquidation in 1920.

On Saturday, January 3, 2009, the last ever match was played at St Mirren's 115-year-old stadium on Love Street. The match, St Mirren vs Motherwell, finished as a rather disappointing 0-0 draw, but the occasion was one of high emotion for the capacity crowd that filled the old stadium for the final time. St Mirren's first match at their new, purpose-built stadium half a mile away on Greenhill Road, was versus Kilmarnock on January 31, 2009, resulting in a 1-1 draw.

Paisley is also home to the Kelburne Hockey Club, who have dominated Scottish domestic hockey in the last 3 seasons. Kelburne HC run 5 gents teams, 3 ladies teams and have over 100 juniors regularly competing for the club at District and National level. Kelburne HC has also supplies the Scottish National Team with the vast majority of the Gents' team. The club has also had success in Europe with recent tournament victories in Austria and Switzerland.

Motorcycle speedway was staged at St Mirren Park in 1975 and 1976 when the Paisley Lions raced in the second division of the British League. The Lions were moderately successful but despite the best efforts of their supporters, the venue was lost to speedway.



Glasgow International Airport's terminal buildings are located to the North of Paisley at Abbotsinch. The airport authority and the many businesses located in around the airport are a major source of employment for Paisley and towns nearby.


Paisley is connected to the UK motorway network with the M8 running along the northern edge of the town. This forms part of the unsigned E05 Euroroute from Greenock to Gibraltar. Many major A roads converge through the town including the A726, A737 and A761.

Rail past

Over the years there have been thirteen railway stations in Paisley and three rail lines that are now closed. The Paisley and Barrhead District Railway,[13] the Barrhead Branch[13] of the GSWR, and the Paisley and Renfrew Railway.[14]

Rail present

The town is linked by rail to Glasgow city centre as well as Inverclyde and the Ayrshire coast, being served by four stations (Paisley Gilmour Street, Paisley St James, Paisley Canal and Hawkhead). The rail links also connect to Glasgow Prestwick International Airport and ferry routes to Dunoon, the Isle of Arran, Isle of Bute and Ireland.


Built in 1807, the Glasgow & Ardrossan canal ran from Port Eglinton in Glasgow to Paisley. Despite initial plans, the canal never reached Ardrossan terminating at Thorn Brae in Johnstone. (See Glasgow, Paisley and Johnstone Canal). After closure in 1885, the canal was drained and formed the basis for the Glasgow and South Western Railway Company's Paisley Canal Line connecting Glasgow to Paisley, and onward to Elderslie, Bridge of Weir and Greenock. The second Paisley Canal railway station is operational.

The Dooslan Stane

The Dooslan Stane and the remains of the lettering inscribed on its surface
The Dooslan stane and the tolbooth bases in Brodie Park

The Dooslan Stane was originally found at the corner of Neilston Road and Rowan Street in Paisley but now lies in Brodie Park. The stone was once carved with the details of its history but this has now largely been eroded.

The stone was the meeting place of the Weavers Union in the South of Paisley and was also used as a "soapbox." It was later moved to its present location in Brodie Park. Also present, arranged around the Dooslan Stane, are the four original Paisley Tolbooth stones. The Dooslan Stane is still used today as the congregating point for the annual Sma' Shot parade which takes place on the first Saturday in July.[15]

See also


  1. ^ Extracts from the records - 1588 | British History Online
  2. ^
  3. ^ BBC News, "Scotland reveals most deprived areas", October 2006
  4. ^ Allan, Robert J (1991).Geoffrey Rootes' dream for Linwood. Minster Lovall: Bookmargue Publishing. ISBN 1-870519-12-4
  5. ^ "Statutory Information." Loganair. Retrieved on 20 May 2009.
  6. ^ Thomas Coats Memorial Church: Architecture
  7. ^ History of Paisley -
  8. ^
  9. ^ The Prince's Regeneration Trust
  10. ^ Frank Arneil Walker (1986). The South Clyde Estuary. RIAS Publishing. ISBN 0-7073-0476-8.
  11. ^ Staff writer (5 January 1989). "Write first time". The Stage: p. 15. 
  12. ^ Scottish Football Association: The Scottish FA: Scotland :
  13. ^ a b
  14. ^
  15. ^ Paisley Online

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Paisley is a large town in Renfrewshire, Central Scotland.


Paisley was founded about 800 years ago around an Abbey. It was favoured by the Kings of Scotland, several of whom are buried in the Abbey grounds. The town's wealth grew largely on the textile industry. With the industrial revolution, Paisley expanded rapidly. Large textile factories and thread works run by Coats and Clark provided employment. The town became famous of a particular style of intricately woven Persian pattern on cotton shawls. This pattern is widely know as 'Paisley' to the present day.

Get in

By plane

Glasgow International Airport is within the town's boundaries. A large number of airline fly to here to many locations throughout the UK, Europe and beyond. The airport terminal is just 2km from Paisley town center. Frequent buses run between the town centre and the airport.

Glasgow Prestwick International Airport is about 40 miles form Paisley. There is a train link from Prestwick Airport to Paisley Gilmour Street station.

By train

Paisley is on the Glasgow to Greenock and Glasgow to Ayrshire lines. The train from Glasgow Central Station takes approximately 15 minutes. The Paisley Canal line also connects Paisley with Glasgow Central Station. However, this line is slower as there are many more stations on route.

By car

The M8 motorway passes Paisley on the north side near the airport. Exits 27, 28 and 29 of the M8 motorway take you to the North East, North (airport) and North West of the town. The M77 passes a few miles to the south east of Paisley. This route connects to Kilmarnock and other locations in South Ayrshire. The A737 connects Paisley to Northern Ayrshire.

By bus

Frequent bus service run between Paisley and Glasgow Buchanan Street bus station.

By boat

There is a short passenger ferry which runs from Yoker in Glasgow to Renfrew. A frequent bus service connects from this ferry to Paisley town centre.

Get around

There are many car hire firms located in Paisley, especially near the airport and the Phoenix retail park on the North West side of the town. Bus services run throughout the town and neighbouring villages. Taxis come in two forms: Private hire cars which are cheap but must be booked by telephone in advance or public hire cars which may be hailed in the street. All public hire taxis are white and have wheelchair access. Taxis usually sit on the taxi rank at the Airport or outside Gilmour Street Station. All public hire taxis are metered whereas the private hire cars usually calculate the fair using the car's odometer and a fair chart based on the number of miles travelled.

  • Paisley Abbey, Abbey Close, Paisley. (In the centre of town, beside the Town Hall.), ''+44 141'' 889 7654 (), [1]. M-Sa 10AM-3:30PM. Sections of the building date back 800 years. Now a protestant church, it is the only abbey in Scotland to have survived the reformation. Several Kings of Scotland are buried here.  edit
  • Paisley Museum and Art Galleries, High Street, Paisley., 0141 889 3151 (fax: ''+44 141'' 889 9240). Tuesday - Sa 10-5PM; Su 2-5PM; M Closed. A large number of displays include local industry and weaving plus a natural history section. The galleries mainly show works by Scottish artists. The museum building dates to 1871 and was build by Glasgow architect John Honeyman and was paid for by Sir Peter Coats Entry is free..  edit
  • Russell Institute, Causeyside Street, Paisley.. An architecturally interesting building, dating form the 1930's, on the corn of New Street and Causeyside Street.  edit
  • Coats Observatory, Orchard Street West, Paisley., ''+44 141'' 889 2013 (fax: ''+44 141'' 889 9240). Su 2-5PM, T-Sa 1-5PM, Public telescope viewing: T 7:30-9:30PM, Oct-Mar.. The observatory was built in 1883 to house a 5 inch equatorial telescope. The original telescope can still be seen and used.  edit
  • The Arts Centre, New Street, Paisley.. Formerly the 'Liegh Kirk' (Low Church) of the town, the building is now a vibrant arts centre where you can take in a live performance or relax in the cafe and bar areas.  edit
  • Thomas Coats Memorial Baptist Church, High Street, Paisley.. F 2-4PM, 11 May-30 Sep. Su 11AM.. This large red sandstone building, constructed in the Gothic style during the 19th century, dominates the centre of the town.  edit
  • Sma Shot Cottages, ''+44 141'' 889 1708. 2 Apr-27 Sep on W and Sa 12-4PM.. These examples of 18th and 19th century weavers cottages that have been preserved in their original state, proved an incite into life of ordinary people two hundred years ago. Entry is free..  edit
  • Paisley Thread Mill Museum.  edit
  • John Neilson Institution, Orchard Street West, Paisley., ''+44 141'' 889 2360. Opened in 1952, this old school building displays some interesting architecture. The building has now been converted into modern housing.  edit
  • Lagoon Leisure Centre, Mill street, Paisley., ''+44 141'' 889 4000. Contains Swimming pools and an ice rink as well as other sports equipment and gyms. Ice hockey, curling and leisure skating can be played in the ice rink which has also staged boxing events.  edit
  • St Mirren F.C. Local football team.  edit
  • Fernie Guided Tours of Paisley, (tours leave from outside of Paisley Abbey), ''+44 141'' 561 8078, [2]. Sa and Public holidays 10.45AM-1.45PM. Bookings are required.. A guided tour on foot round some of the sites and buildings of Paisley.  edit
  • Glenifer Braes Country Park, (South side of the town). Extensive pathways run along the crest of this hill as far as Barrhead and Johnstone. Entry is free..  edit


Paisley University is located in the centre of the town. Reid Kerr college is on Renfrew Road in the North of the town.

  • Farmers Market. on the last Saturday of every month, the stalls are open at 9am.. Fresh local produced produce at good prices direct form the producer. Come early for the best choice.  edit
  • Shimla House Restaurant, 40 Moss St, Paisley., ''+44 141'' 889 2232. Indian style restaurant. Serves buffet style, eat what you want, or form the menu.  edit
  • Cafe India, 8 New St, Paisley., ''+44 141'' 887 6877. Indian style food.  edit
  • Antica, 4 Silk St, Paisley., ''+44 141'' 889 3949. Italian fish and chip shop.  edit
  • Cardosis, 4 Storie St, Paisley., ''+44 141'' 889 5720. A small, but upmarket, Italian restaurant with excellent food. Booking recommended.  edit
  • Domino's Paisley, 41 Gauze Street, Paisley., ''+44 141'' 842 1331. Take away pizza shop.  edit
  • Kwang Tung, 41 George St, Paisley., ''+44 141'' 889 9586. Chinese restaurant popular with students.  edit
  • Koh-I-Noor, 40 New Sneddon St, Paisley., ''+44 141'' 889 7909. Formerly a manor house, converted into an upmarket Indian restaurant.  edit
  • The Mirage, 59 Broomlands St, Paisley (On the corner of Broomlands and George Street.), ''+44 141'' 889 4477. Indian style food at a good price.  edit
  • Dantes, 38 Causeyside St, Paisley., ''+44 141'' 849 6949.  edit
  • Shezan Tandoori, 80 Glasgow Rd, Paisley., ''+44 141'' 889 6485. Good quallity, low cost Indian food in the East end of the town. Buffet service lunch and dinner.  edit
  • Carlitos, 9-11 Renfrew Rd, Paisley., ''+44 141'' 849 0008. Italian style restaurant and tapas bar.  edit
  • Tortellini, 16 Shuttle St, Paisley., ''+44 141'' 848 0898. Italian restaurant and pizzeria.  edit
  • Lombardi's, 30 Old Sneddon St, Paisley., ''+44 141'' 887 3141.  edit
  • Night Palace, 45 Old Sneddon St, Paisley, ''+44 141'' 887 8444. Chinese style food.  edit
  • Thai Siam, 5 St. James St, Paisley, ''+44 141'' 848 0885. Thailand food.  edit


Most of the night clubs and restaurants are to be found around Shuttle Street, New Street and Storie Street.

  • Cafe Borgia, New Street, Paisley.. A young persons bar.  edit
  • The Arts Centre, New Street, Paisley., ''+44 141'' 887 1007. A small modern bar upstairs form the cafe.  edit
  • Abbey Bar, Lawn Street, Paisley.. A classically styled bar catering mainly for middle aged / elderly people. On Fridays there is a DJ who plays 60s, 70s and 80s music.  edit
  • Gabriels Bar and Diner, 33 Gauze St, Paisley. An extremely large modern bar, suitable for all ages. It hosts a popular karaoke/disco on Saturdays at 9PM.  edit
  • Gilmours, Near Gilmour Street Rail Station, Paisley. Unremarkable pub, tends to be full of very young drinkers and all that entails. Hosts karaoke every day, even Mondays.  edit
  • Lord Lounsdale, Lounsdale Road, Paisley. (Near the RAH Hospital.). An upmarket pub that is popular with the locals.  edit
  • Hogshead, 45 High St, Paisley., ''+44 141'' 840 4150. A new bar of the popular Hogshead chain. Smart classical pub interior with a pleasant atmosphere though more expensive than other bars in the town.  edit
  • Last Post, County Square, Paisley., ''+44 141'' 848 0353. Formerly the main post office building, now converted into a very large bar over two levels. A popular choice with people of all ages.  edit
  • O'Neils, New street, Paisley.. A popular place to start a night out, frequented by all ages.  edit
  • Russels, 59 High St, Paisley. (Opposit the Museum and Library), ''+44 141'' 889 2853. A popular student oriented bar close to the University.  edit
  • Vienna's Nightclub, New Street, Paisley.. A popular dance club open well into the small hours. This club was notorious for violence in its days as "Club 30" although it appears to now be a student-friendly club with many stewards watching out for you.  edit
  • The Bull, New Street, Paisley. A Paisley institution. A good atmosphere and some private rooms for larger groups  edit
  • Ramada Glasgow Airport Hotel, Marchburn Dr, Abbotsinch, Paisley., ''+44 141'' 840 2200, [3]. Directly beside the airport terminal building. About 3 miles form the town centre.  edit
  • Holiday Inn, Glasgow Airport, Abbotsinch, Paisley., ''+44 141'' 847 8202.  edit
  • Premier Inn Hotel Glasgow Airport, Whitecart Road, Glasgow Airport, Paisley., ''+44'' 870 242 8000.  edit
  • Ashtree House Hotel, 9 Orr Square, Paisley., ''+44 141'' 848 6411, [4].  edit
  • Travelodge, Marchburn Dr, Abbotsinch, Paisley., ''+44 141'' 848 1359, [5].  edit
  • Premier Inn Hotel Glasgow (Paisley), Phoenix Business Pk, Paisley., ''+44'' 870 242 8000, [6].  edit
  • Glasgow Airport Hotel, Abbotsinch, Paisley, ''+44'' 845 833 7453.  edit
  • The Lomond Hotels, 91 New Sneddon St, Paisley., ''+44 141'' 889 2642.  edit
  • Glynhill Hotel & Leisure Club, 169 Paisley Rd, Renfrew., ''+44 141'' 886 5555, [7].  edit
  • Muirholm Bed & Breakfast, 4 Calside Avenue, Paisley., ''+44 141'' 889 3854, [8].  edit
  • Normandy Hotel, Inchinnan Road, Renfrew., ''+44 141'' 886 4100, [9].  edit


The Library on the high street, in the centre of the town, has public internet facilities.

Stay safe

The town centre may not be safe to walk around alone at night. Paisley has many gangs who frequent the town centre in the evening. If you must be in the town at night, ensure you are part of a group.

The taxi rank next to Paisley Gilmour Street railway station attracts a lot of trouble at the weekends, usually around "closing time" in the pubs. Sometimes there are stewards at the rank, sometimes not.

The north western area known as Ferguslie Park is most certainly not a tourist friendly area. The same applies to Gallowhill.

  • Glasgow city is just 15 minutes by train form Paisley making it convenient for day trips to the various attractions there.
  • The Clyde Coast and Ayrshire towns were popular tourist destinations during the 19th and early 20th century. They can be easily accessed by both car and train form Paisley.
  • Arran, Rothsey and Greater Cumbray (Millport) are three islands in the Clyde area. Trains from Paisley Gilmour Street station connect with the ferries for each of these for easy day trips or overnight jaunts.
  • Ireland is easily accessed for Paisley. The rail service connects with the ferries form Troon and Stranrar to Belfast.
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

PAISLEY, a municipal and police burgh of Renfrewshire, Scotland, on the White Cart, 3 m. from its junction with the Clyde, 7 m. W. by S. of Glasgow by the Glasgow & South-Western and Caledonian railways. Pop. (1891), 66,425; (1901) 79,363. In 1791 the river, which bisects the town, was made navigable for vessels of 50 tons and further deepened a century later. It is crossed by several bridges - including the Abercorn, St James's and the Abbey Bridges - and two railway viaducts. The old town, on the west bank of the stream, contains most of the principal warehouses and mills; the new town, begun towards the end of the 18th century, occupies much of the level ground that once formed the domains of the abbey. To the munificence of its citizens the town owes many of its finest public buildings. Opposite to the abbey church (see below) stands the town hall (1879-1882), which originated in a bequest by George Aitken Clark (1823-1873), and was completed by his relatives, the thread manufacturers of Anchor Mills. The new county buildings (1891) possess a handsome council hall, and the castellated municipal buildings (1818-1821) were the former county buildings; the sheriff court house (1885) in St James Street, and the free library and museum (including a picture gallery) at the head of High Street, were erected (1869-1872) by Sir Peter Coats (1808-1890). In Oakshaw Street stands the observatory (1883), the gift of Thomas Coats (1809-1883). Besides numerous board schools, the educational establishments include the John Neilson Endowed Institute (1852) on Oakshaw Hill, the grammar school (founded, 1576; rebuilt, 1864), and the academy for secondary education, and the technical college, in George Street. Among charitable institutions are the Royal Alexandra Infirmary, the Victoria Eye Infirmary (presented by Provost Mackenzie in 1899), the burgh asylum at Riccartsbar, the Abbey Poorhouse (including hospital and lunatic wards), the fever hospital and reception house, the Infectious Diseases Hospital and the Gleniffer Home for Incurables. The Thomas Coats Memorial Church, belonging to the Baptist body, erected by the Coats family from designs by H. J. Blanc, R.S.A., is one of the finest modern ecclesiastical structures in Scotland. It is an Early English and Decorated cruciform building of red sandstone, with a tower surmounted by a beautiful open-work crown. Of parks and open spaces there are in the south, Brodie Park (22 acres), presented in 1871 by Robert Brodie; towards the north Fountain Gardens (7a acres), the gift of Thomas Coats and named from the handsome iron fountain standing in the centre; in the north-west, St James Park (40 acres), with a racecourse (racing dates from 1620, when the earl of Abercorn and the Town Council gave silver bells for the prize); Dunn Square and the old quarry grounds converted and adorned; and Moss Plantation beyond the north-western boundary. There are the cemeteries at Hawkhead and at the west side of the town. Under the Reform Act of 1832 the burgh returns one member to Parliament. The town is governed by a council, with provost and bailies, and owns the gas and water supplies and the electric lighting. In the abbey precincts are statues to the poet Robert Tannahill (1774-1810) and Alexander Wilson (1766-1813), the American ornithologist, both of whom were born in Paisley, and, elsewhere, to Robert Burns, George Aitkin Clark, Thomas Coats and Sir Peter Coats.

Paisley has been an important manufacturing centre since the beginning of the 18th century, but the earlier linen, lawn and silk-gauze industries have become extinct, and even the famous Paisley shawls (imitation cashmere), the sale of which at one time exceeded i,000,000 yearly in value, have ceased to be woven. The manufacture of linen thread, introduced about 1720 by Christian Shaw, daughter of the laird of Bargarran, gave way in 1812 to that of cotton thread, which has since grown to be the leading industry of the town. The Ferguslie mills (J. & P. Coats) and Anchor mills (Clark & Company) are now the dominant factors in the combination that controls the greater part of the thread trade of the world and together employ 10,000 hands. Other thriving industries include bleaching, dyeing, calico-printing, weaving (carpets, shawls, tartans), engineering, tanning, iron and brass founding, brewing, distilling, and the making of starch, cornflour, soap, marmalade and other preserves, besides some shipbuilding in the yards on the left bank of the White Cart.

The abbey was founded in 1163 as a Cluniac monastery by Walter Fitzalan, first High Steward of Scotland, the ancestor of the Scottish royal family of Stuart, and dedicated to the Virgin, St James, St Milburga of Much Wenlock in Shropshire (whence came the first monks) and St Mirinus (St Mirren), the patron-saint of Paisley, who is supposed to have been a contemporary of St Columba. The monastery became an abbey in 1219, was destroyed by the English under Aymer de Valence, earl of Pembroke, in 1307, and rebuilt in the latter half of the 14th century, the Stuarts endowing it lavishly. At the Reformation (1561) the fabric was greatly injured by the 5th earl of Glencairn and the Protestants, who dismantled the altar, stripped the church of images and relics, and are even alleged to have burnt it. About the same date the central spire, 300 ft. high, built during the abbacy of John Hamilton (1511-1571), afterwards archbishop of St Andrews, collapsed, demolishing the choir and north transept. In 1553 Lord Claud. Hamilton, then a boy of ten, was made abbot, and the abbacy and monastery were erected into a temporal lordship ih his favour in 1587. The abbey lands, after passing from his son the earl of Abercorn to the earl of Angus and then to Lord Dundonald, were purchased in 1764 by the 8th earl of Abercorn, who intended making the abbey his residence, but let the ground for building purposes. The abbey church originally consisted of a nave, choir without aisles, and transepts. The nave, in the Transitional and Decorated styles, with a rich midPointed triforium of broad round arches, has been restored, and used as the parish church since 1862. The graceful west front has a deeply recessed Early Pointed doorway, surmounted by traceried windows and, above these, by a handsome Decorated stained-glass window of fire lights. Of the choir only the foundations remain to indicate its extent; at the east end stood the high altar before which Robert III. was interred in 1406. Over his grave a monument to the memory of the Royal House of Stuart was placed here by Queen Victoria (1888). The restored north transept has a window of remarkable beauty. The south transept contains St Mirren's chapel (founded in 1 499), which is also called the "Sounding Aisle" from its echo. The chapel contains the tombs of abbot John Hamilton and of the children of the 1st lord Paisley, and the recumbent effigy of Marjory, daughter of Robert Bruce, who married Walter, the Steward, and was killed while hunting at Knock Hill between Renfrew and Paisley (1316).

'About 3 m. S. of Paisley are the pleasant braes of Gleniffer, sung by Tannahill, and 2 m. S.E., occupying a hill on the left bank of the Leven, stand the ruins of Crookston Castle. The castle is at least as old as the 12th century and belonged to Robert de Croc, who witnessed the charter of the foundation of Paisley Abbey. In the following century it passed into the possession of a branch of the Stewarts, who retained it until the murder of Darnley (1567). Afterwards it changed hands several times, but was finally acquired from the Montrose family by Sir John Maxwell of Pollok.

The Romans effected a settlement in Paisley in A.D. 84, and built a fort called Vanduara on the high ground (Oakshaw Hill) to the west of the White Cart. The place seems to have been first known as Paslet or Passeleth, and was assigned along with certain lands in Renfrewshire to Walter Fitzalan, founder of the abbey. The village grew up round the abbey, and by the 15th century had become sufficiently important to excite the jealousy of the neighbouring burgh of Renfrew. To protect it from molestation Abbot Schaw (or Shaw) induced James IV., a frequent visitor, to erect it into a burgh of barony in 1488, a charter which gave it the right to return a member to the Scots parliament.

See Chartulary of the Monastery of Paisley, published by the Maitland Club (1832); J. Cameron Lees, The Abbey of Paisley (1878); Swan, Description of the Town and Abbey of Paisley (1835); and Robert Brown, History of Paisley (1886).

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