History and heritage of Renfrewshire’s towns and villages

Renfrewshire’s towns and villages all have fascinating history and heritage. Delve into our stories and find out more.

From ancient Roman settlements, grand castles and influential World War II ships, we’ve got stories to tell. We’ve been home to unique ferry crossings, iconic landmarks, and revolutionary industry. The history and heritage of Renfrewshire is woven with Scottish heros, patterns and weaver poets

From Industrialists and artisits to inventors and faith leaders. Renfrewshire’s history is filled with interesting and brave characters who had a profound impact on the world. The birthplace of kings, earls, generals and world-building architects. Just like the rest of Scotland, Renfrewshire has experienced much over its time.


With thanks to Renfrewshire Heritage for providing many of these historic stories, facts and tales. With funding from Renfrewshire Council and National Lottery Hertiage Fund. The Renfrewshire Heritage project was researched by historians and community groups from Renfrewshire.

Discover more history and heritage for yourself

The OneRen Heritage Centre is an incredible resource when diving into our local history. The centre holds an extensive collection of materials which provide a wealth of information about Renfrewshire. Including its people and places, from the earliest times to the present day. The comfortable space offers dedicated facilities for local and family history research, and quiet study.

The friendly staff are on hand to help you in your research. To make the best use of your visit, please pre-book.

If you’re researching your Renfrewshire family links, here are five handy tips the heritage team have suggested, to help on your journey.

  • Start with yourself and work backwards through the generations.
  • Find out as much information as you can from family members.
  • Collect information from birth, marriage and death certificates.  Civil registration began in Scotland in 1855.  You can obtain copies of certificates from the local registrar’s office or scotlandspeople website.
  • Construct a family tree with the information that you have.
  • Contact the Heritage Centre team if you need further help with your Renfrewshire family history research

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