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Paisley has monastic origins, due to a site near a waterfall, where a chapel is said to have been established by the 7th century monk, Saint Mirin. It may have been a major religious centre of the Kingdom of Strathclyde, along with Glasgow and Govan. Though Paisley lacks contemporary documentation. A Cluniac priory was established in 1163 by Walter Fitz Alan (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. King Robert III (1390-1406) was buried in the Abbey. His tomb has not survived, but that of Princess Marjorie Bruce (1296-1316), ancestress of the Stewarts is one of Scotland's few royal monuments to survive the Reformation.


Paisley People and Places Paisley, Scotland's largest town, has a rich and colourful history. A powerhouse of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, it was home to some of Scotland's great industries, particularly weaving and textiles. The renowned Paisley pattern has spread the town's name around the globe. This new book explores Paisley's mighty industrial history but also looks at its people at work and play, and explores the town's great buildings and significant events over more than a century of change.

Crookston Castle. Substantial remains of early fifteenth century tower of unusual type within the ditch and bank of a medieval earthwork. The castle takes its name from Sir Robert Croc of Neilston, a vassal of the Steward of Scotland in the twelfth century. In the fourteenth the lands passed to Alan Stewart of Darnley, cousin of Robert II, whose descendants included Sir John Stewart, Constable of the Scots in France, who was killed at the siege of Orleans in 1429 and was probably the builder of the tower. Located, one mile south-east of Crookston and two and a half miles east-south-east of Paisley.

A History of Paisley 600-1908 A History of Paisley 600-1908. Metcalfe's substantial history contains chapters on Literature, Streets and Buildings, Industries, Societies, The New Town, Markets, Municipal Management, The Grammar School, Education, and Witchcraft, as well as a thorough overview of the ecclesiastical and political circumstances influencing the development of the Abbey town. It also features the 1695 Poll Tax Roll.

Barochan Cross. A fine, free-standing Celtic cross, eleven feet high, with figure sculpture. Once located just North of Houston which is 5 miles north-west of the centre of Paisley. Now situated in Paisley Abbey, in the centre of Paisley.

The Paisley Directory and General Advertiser for 1889-1890: Including Renfrew, Johnstone, Quarrelton, Elderslie, Inkermann, Balaclava, Clippens, Linwood, and Howwood (Streets Ago) Paisley grew rapidly with the cotton industry, in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It became famous world-wide for the use of the 'boteh' motif in the 'Paisley Pattern' shawl. Although only a short distance from the expanding metropolis of Glasgow, it retained its own identity. The Directory Contents include: Alphabetical and Trades and Professions Directories of Paisley and surrounding villages, together with lists of the officials of religious, political and recreational societies, organisations and official bodies, Distances between Paisley and nearly 200 places in the County of Renfrewshire, Post Office arrangements and a note on Omnibus Traffic. A fascinating opportunity to see the social structure of a prosperous nineteenth-century town..

The Paisley Thread Industry: And the Men Who Created and Developed It (Paisley Collection) Originally published in 1907. Matthew Blair, according to The Glasgow Herald, was one of the few who still possess the necessary qualifications for writing a record of the lost trade, for he was brought up in it. He has performed his task with the competence of a craftsman and with the enthusiasm of a man who looks back on scenes to which distance and intervening success combine to lend enchantment. His treatment is singularly vivid and interesting, even when the picture appears somewhat more highly coloured than is quite consistent with absolute truth to nature." Blair was Chairman of the Incorporated Weaving, Dyeing, and Printing College of Glasgow. This short history of a period in the history of his native town proves that he has inherited no small share of the literary skill of the race of weaver poets. He is also author of The Paisley Shawl.

The Lordship of Paisley: Being the Accompt of Charge and Discharge for the Years 1757, 1758, 1759, and 1760 (Paisley Collection) Originally published in 1912. Abercorns, Cochranes, Dundonalds and Hamiltons feature large in this engrossing study of the Lordship of Paisley. It was created in 1587 for Lord Claud Hamilton, and included the temporalities of the Abbey. In practice, this extended to lands scattered over the counties of Renfrew, Ayr, Dumbarton, Argyll, Lanark, Edinburgh, Peebles and Roxburgh. The Introductory essay follows the history of the Lordship from 1587 until 1873, when the Town Council demolished the dormitory of the Abbey, along with other 'Improvements.' Detailed estate accounts for 1757 to 1760 show income from, and expenditure on, a wide range of properties including Thread Mills and a Bowling green, as well as more mundane transactions - old slates, a bed, and some old cherry trees. The text of the 1587 Charter for the Lordship is included.

Paisley Quote. " Dundee, the palace of Scottish blackguardism, unless perhaps Paisley be entitled to contest this honour with it." Lord Cockburn (1779-1854), Circuit journeys.

Paisley Humour. A man from Paisley was describing the Niagara Falls to a friend: "Aye, it's nothing but a perfect waste of water!".

About half way between Glasgow and Paisley the ruins of Crookston Castle are to be found. Seven miles from Glasgow is the large manufacturing town of Paisley.

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