Explore the Town of Paisley

The town of Paisley is situated in the Scottish lowlands, on the banks of the River Cart, only eight miles away from Glasgow. Paisley is considered the fifth largest town or city in the country.

In the 12th century Paisley started off as just an abbey, but later developed into a town as people began to settle there. Paisley Abbey at that time was highly regarded and was attended regularly by the royal Stewart and Bruce families. The original part of the Paisley Abbey is a good example of 12th century Gothic architecture, whereas the newer side of the Abbey is an example of 19th century Gothic Revival architecture. When you visit the Paisley Abbey, not only will you be exposed to beautiful architecture, but you will be able to see the delicate stained glass windows, woodcarvings and royal tombs that have survived until today.

Paisley became famous for the Paisley shawl that it wove and the cloth that it made in the 18th and 19th centuries, which had a distinct pattern called the Paisley Pattern. Today the weaving and cloth industry is not as popular as it used to be, though pieces of material and shawls can still be bought. The effect that this industry had on the town can still be seen in the street names that have been used like Shuttle Street, Cotton Street and Silk Street.

When you enter Paisley or as you drive around the town it is hard to miss the sixty meter high, red sandstone Thomas Coats Memorial Church that was designed in 1894 by Hippolyte Jean Blanc. The Municipal Museum holds a variety of collections that were originally collected by the Paisley Philosophical Society. The museum was first designed and built in 1871 by John Honeyman. It has been extended a few times over the decades and now features a library, an art and sculpture gallery, and a shawl gallery.

Paisley’s local football team is the St. Mirren F.C., which is part of the Scottish Premier League. The town also has two Cricket Clubs, Ferguslie and Kelburne, both of which have produced some fine cricket players that are now part of the National Scottish Team.

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