A history of royalty and radicalism… a town built by thread, made world-famous by a pattern… home to artists and artisans, musicians and mill girls.

Straddling everything from medieval patriots to exiled punks, Paisley and Renfrewshire have a whole host of stories to tell.

Dive in and read a few chapters for yourself…

Royalty and radicalism

Stretching back over 1,500 years, our story takes in royalty, radicalism and national heroes.

The first of the Stewart kings of Scotland, Robert II (grandson of the famous King Robert the Bruce) was born inside Paisley Abbey in 1316. The town of Renfrew would come to be known as the ‘Cradle of the Stewarts’ as the family became a royal dynasty. That other famous Scottish hero of medieval times, William Wallace, was born in Renfrewshire and folklore has it he was educated by the monks of the Abbey.

Paisley Pattern

Paisley was transformed by the Industrial Revolution into a economic powerhouse and catapulted to the forefront of the worldwide thread industry. This was the heyday of the iconic Paisley Pattern – the iconic design which took Paisley’s name around the world and is still instantly recognisable today.

But it’s not all about warriors and weavers. Our area has a fascinating social and cultural history. Individuals and movements born here have shaped the world we live in today, Through it all, there’s a passion for music, dance, poetry and prose that continues to this day.


A fascinating history waiting to be discovered

Exploring Paisley's built heritage

Discover our untold story

I think what makes Paisley great is our history. We have the Abbey, the mills, the Paisley Pattern and some great architecture. We have great heritage in music with the Tannahill Weavers and other great singers.

Phyllis Arthur
What's Our Story?

When the day’s work was over, they issued in a stream from the orate, their hands and arms stained with all the colours of the rainbow, and they made the streets lively on the way home.

Matthew Blair
The Paisley shawl and the men who produced it, 1907

Paisley has the highest concentration of listed buildings in Scotland after Edinburgh. A stroll through the town centre takes you past the ancient Abbey, past the splendid Thomas Coats Memorial Church, past the Paisley Museum and Art Galleries. The town also has a thriving arts scene. There is, plainly, a lot going on.

Russell Leadbetter
Senior Features Writer
Sunday Herald

In a town that sees creeping influences of Mackintosh and Thomson amongst others, it very much extends the structural beauty of Glasgow to its neighbour in the west.

Neil Robertson
Travels With A Kilt

Discover for yourself!