Truly a sight to behold, Paisley Abbey boasts awe-inspiring architecture and an incredible history ingrained into the fabric of the building.
The Abbey was founded in 1163 when Walter Fitzalan, the High Steward of Scotland, signed a charter at Fotheringay for the founding of a Cluniac Monastery on land he owned in Renfrewshire.
Thirteen monks came from Much Wenlock in Shropshire to set up a priory on the site of the old Celtic Church founded by St Mirin in 6th century. In 1245, the priory was raised to the status of an Abbey, answerable only to the pope in Rome.
Under royal patronage, the Abbey became wealthy and influential and evidence exists of extensive trade between Paisley Abbey and commercial centres throughout Europe.
The Abbey was also a centre of learning and it is believed Sir William Wallace, who played such a prominent part in the Scottish Wars of Independence in the 13th century, was educated by the monks at Paisley Abbey.
In addition to being an architectural gem with a rich past, the Abbey today – as well as performing religious ceremonies – hosts concerts and cultural events throughout the year. Events in the Abbey are a breathtaking spectacle, with the building offering a setting unrivalled by other venues in Scotland.
The Abbey offer guided tours twice a week – on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2pm – and has a cafe, shop and small visitor centre where visitors are made very welcome.
Enjoy the series of stunning stained glass windows designed by Daniel Cottier (1838–1891), history beneath your feet with the Great Medieval Drain relics, the unusual gargoyle inspired by Ridley Scott’s Alien movie and more rare artefacts showcasing particular moments in time.