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Paisley - Town of Weavers.

Paisley Abbey

Paisley Abbey

Paisley - Town of Weavers.

Paisley is the largest town in Scotland. It is situated on the banks of the White Cart River about seven miles west of Glasgow. Paisley began life around the sixth or seventh century when Saint Mirin built a chapel here. In 1163 this site developed into a Clunaic priory and then in 1245 this priory was raised in status and became an Abbey. Paisley Abbey was an important religious centre for the Scottish royal houses of Bruce and Stewart. Paisley Abbey is a beautiful building and is well worth visiting. During the Industrial Revolution in the late eighteenth century, Paisley became an important centre for the production of thread. Later it became a centre for weaving. It was especially famous for weaving paisley pattern shawls. This pattern consisting of tear drop shapes actually originated in Persia. Two prominent families dominated the textile industry in Paisley the Clarks and the Coats.

The old centre of Paisley is in the Oakshaw area close to Gilmour Street Station. It is easy to explore on foot. It has a wealth of historical buildings and amazingly is not visited by many tourists. In fact on the tourist front Paisley is almost a forgotten town. I think this is partly due to Paisley's reputation for being quite rough in certain areas. While Paisley, along with everywhere else does have its problems, the old town centre is a wonderful and rewarding place to visit.

Paisley War Memorial.

We exited Gilmour Street Station and walked straight ahead towards the city centre; the first site we passed was the Paisley War Memorial. The War Memorial is located at the junction of Gilmour Street and Moss Street. The memorial depicts a knight in armour sitting on a horse. Four more modern soldiers from the two world wars trudge along beside him. Perhaps this is meant to show that war is with us always.The war memorial was unveiled on Sunday 27th July 1924. There are no names of the fallen on the memorial.

Paisley War Memorial

Paisley War Memorial

Paisley War Memorial

Paisley War Memorial

Dunn Square.

On the banks of the White Cart Water just across the road from the war memorial stands Dunn Square. The square is a pleasant open area with good views towards the town hall and the abbey. The square contains several statues including Queen Victoria, Thomas Coats and Peter Coats who were wealthy Paisley mill owners and a mother and children statue which commemorates William Dunn, 1st Baronet of Lakenheath and Liberal MP to Paisley.

Dunn Square

Dunn Square

Dunn Square

Dunn Square

Dunn Square

Dunn Square

Paisley Abbey.

Paisley Priory was founded in 1163 when Walter Fitzalan, the High Steward of Scotland, signed a charter allowing the founding of a Cluniac monastery on land he owned in Renfrewshire. After the signing of the charter, thirteen Clunaic monks came to Scotland from Much Wenlock in Shropshire to set up a priory. Their priory was to stand on the site of an old Celtic church founded by St. Mirin in the sixth century. In 1245, the priory became an Abbey dedicated to St. Mary, St. James, St. Mirin, the patron saint of Paisley and St. Milburga, the patron saint of Wenlock. William Wallace, one of Scotland's national heroes who fought for Scotland's independence, was educated at Paisley Abbey. In 1315 the sixth High Steward, Walter Stewart, married Marjory Bruce. She was the daughter of King Robert the Bruce who defeated the English at Bannockburn. In 1316, after just one year of marriage, Marjory suffered a terrible riding accident. She was pregnant at the time of the accident. Her injured body was carried to Paisley Abbey where an early form of caesarian section was performed on her to save her baby. Her baby survived and grew up to be King Robert II of Scotland. Marjory died and is buried in the abbey. King Robert II was the first of the Stewart monarchs. Paisley Abbey is sometimes referred to as the 'cradle of the Royal Stewarts'. Paisley Abbey is the final resting place of six High Stewards of Scotland, Princess Marjory Bruce as well as the wives of King Robert II and King Robert III. During the Scottish Reformation in 1560 Paisley Abbey was disbanded and over time fell into ruins. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries the abbey was restored.

Paisley Abbey

Paisley Abbey

Paisley Abbey

Paisley Abbey

Paisley Abbey

Paisley Abbey

Inside Paisley Abbey.

Paisley Abbey is free to enter though you can give an optional donation towards the abbey's upkeep. The abbey is beautiful inside with many wonderful stain glass windows. I liked the pews that had arm rests carved to look like animals. There was an exhibition inside the abbey about the Paisley drain. This was found by archaeologists from Glasgow University and gives an indication of the abbey's original size with all its outlying buildings which have long since disappeared. The abbey has a gift shop and cafe, too.

Inside Paisley Abbey

Inside Paisley Abbey

Inside Paisley Abbey

Inside Paisley Abbey

Inside Paisley Abbey

Inside Paisley Abbey

Inside Paisley Abbey

Inside Paisley Abbey

Paisley Town Hall.

Paisley Town Hall is an impressive building located on the banks of the White Cart Water near the Paisley Abbey. George A.Clark, one of the Clarks who owned Paisley's thread mills, left £20,000 in his will to the people of Paisley in 1873 so they could build a town hall. Paisley Town Hall was officially opened in January 1882. It is used as an entertainment venue.

Paisley Town Hall

Paisley Town Hall

Paisley Town Hall

Paisley Town Hall

Paisley Town Hall

Paisley Town Hall

Paisley Museum And Art Gallery.

Paisley Museum and Art Gallery is situated on High Street next to the library. When we visited it was being renovated and the art gallery part was closed, so we only visited the museum. The exhibits in the main hall were a real mixed bag with stuffed lions and iguanadon footprints, Ancient Egypt and local history. The local history part had exhibits on Paisley during the Second World War and local disasters such as the Paisley Canal disaster and the Glen Cinema Disaster. The Paisley Canal Disaster occurred on the 10th of November 1810. A new canal boat, The Countess of Eglinton, had started operating on Paisley Canal. It could carry 150 passengers and travelled from Paisley to Johnstone. It was pulled along the canal by two horses. The new boat caused such excitement in the town that too many people rushed to get on it causing the boat to capsize. Passengers and crew were thrown into the icy canal waters. Few could swim; many were children who worked in the mills. 85 people drowned in the canal on that day. The Glen Cinema disaster occurred on the afternoon of 31st December 1929. The cinema was filled with children watching a children's matinee. A freshly shown film was put in its canister and the canister began to emit thick black smoke. As the cinema filled with smoke, the children panicked and tried to run out of the cinema but the exits had been padlocked in the ensuing chaos seventy children were crushed to death. The museum also housed a temporary exhibition of rock photography by Harry Papadopolous. A final room contained exhibits about weaving including a loom and Paisley pattern shawls and clothes. The museum is free to enter and has clean toilets. The Coats Observatory is situated behind the museum. The museum is housed in an attractive old building which opened in 1871. It was designed by Glasgow architect John Honeyman and was paid for by local mill owner Sir Peter Coats. The museum is open Tues to Sat 11am to 4pm and Sun 2pm to 5pm.

Paisley Museum And Art Gallery

Paisley Museum And Art Gallery

Paisley Museum And Art Gallery

Paisley Museum And Art Gallery

Paisley Museum And Art Gallery

Paisley Museum And Art Gallery

Paisley Museum And Art Gallery

Paisley Museum And Art Gallery

Paisley Museum And Art Gallery

Paisley Museum And Art Gallery

The Thomas Coats Memorial Church

This church is just a short walk past the museum. It is a beautiful building and looked very impressive from the outside. Unfortunately it was closed when we visited. The Thomas Coats Memorial Church is a baptist church and is sometimes referred to as the Baptist Cathedral of Europe. It was built in 1894 and the construction was funded by close family members of Thomas Coats following his death.

The Thomas Coats Memorial Church

The Thomas Coats Memorial Church

The Thomas Coats Memorial Church

The Thomas Coats Memorial Church

The Thomas Coats Memorial Church

The Thomas Coats Memorial Church

The Oakshaw Trinity Church.

Paisley's old town is filled with churches. Another attractive one is the Oakshaw Trinity Church. This church is set on a hill above High Street. It has a small graveyard. The Hutcheson's Charity School is next to the church. The church was closed when we visited.

The Oakshaw Trinity Church

The Oakshaw Trinity Church

The Oakshaw Trinity Church

The Oakshaw Trinity Church

The Oakshaw Trinity Church

The Oakshaw Trinity Church

The Oakshaw Trinity Church

The Oakshaw Trinity Church

The White Cart Water.

Paisley is situated on the White Cart Water. This joins together with the Black Cart Water to form the River Cart. The River Cart is a short river which flows into the River Clyde opposite the town of Clydebank.

The White Cart Water

The White Cart Water

The White Cart Water

The White Cart Water

Posted by irenevt 05:55 Archived in Scotland

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Comments

The late and great Gerry Rafferty was from Paisley, there is a street named after him in a housing estate between the town centre and the airport.

by Bennytheball

I did not realise he was from there. I must look for his street next visit. I shall listen to a bit of Baker Street later on. All the best, Irene

by irenevt

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