Paisley, Scotland

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Missing image

Paisley's location locally and nationally
Population:74,170 (1991 Census)
Local Goverment Region:Renfrewshire
Traditional County:Renfrewshire
Former Region:Strathclyde
Post Office and Telephone
Post Town:Paisley
Postcode:PA1 & PA2
Dialling Code:0141 & 01505

Paisley (Pāislig in Scottish Gaelic) is a large town, and former royal burgh in the Central Lowlands of Scotland. It is the administrative capital of the Renfrewshire authority.

The town is situated on the northern edge of the Gleniffer Braes on the banks of the River Cart, approximately 8 miles west-southwest of Glasgow. Glasgow International Airport, despite its name, is in fact located in Renfrewshire, and sits equidistantly between Paisley and neighbouring Renfrew.

Paisley is the largest town in Scotland (below the country's five main cities). Towns and settlements surrounding Paisley include:


Formerly known as Paislay (and still known as Pāislig in Gaelic), the town's name is thought to be derived from the old Brythonic word, Pasgill, meaning "pasture".

Historically, Paisley has monastic origins, due to a site near a waterfall, where it is said a chapel was established by the Irish monk, Saint Mirin (See Saint Mirren). It is also said to have been the site of a Roman encampment in the Kingdom of Strathclyde, though this has never been proven. The priory however, prevailed and in 1219, it was promoted to Abbey status.

Not long after the time of Robert the Bruce and the Stewarts (mid-1400s), Paisley coalesced under James II's wish that the lands should become a single regality and, as a result, markets, trading and commerce began to flourish.

Many trades sprung up and the first schools were established; and by the mid-nineteenth century, weaving had become the town's main industry. Paisley is still very well-known for the Paisley Shawl and its distinctive pattern, which originated around this time.

Mainly on account of the weaving fraternity, Paisley gained notoriety as being a literate and somewhat radical town, although it could be argued in a fiercely positive direction, by this time there was a real mixture of religious opinions and healthy drink-fuelled debate raged at night amongst the weavers, poets, merchants, masons and others.

Currently Paisley suffers many problems common to towns throughout central Scotland. In the last 10 years, the development of out-of-town retail sites, in combination with a poorly-planned town centre pedestrianisation and an unfathomable one-way road system around the town centre, has led to a loss of many retail outlets and poor access to the town centre. The once bustling High Street of Paisley is a shadow of its former self. This is a result of unimaginative local government-sanctioned town planning. Many of the town's citizens feel that they deserve better.

St. Mirren F.C, the local Paisley Scottish First Division football (soccer) team, have currently been given planning permission to move to a new 10,000 seater staduim from their home on the towns Love Street to one located on Greenhill Road to help regenerate the deprived Fergulie Park area. Despite their last major success being the Scottish Cup of 1987 where thousands crowded the streets to see the team and having only enjoyed a brief spell in the SPL in recent memory, the support in the town for the team is still good and attendances are among the highest in the First Division. They have a very active youth development system and are part of the social fabric of the town. This was demonstrated when at a Renfrewshire Council planning debate on the new staduim and supermarket to replace Love Street came to be heard. With the initial recommendation that St.Mirren be denied permission for the supermarket but allowed the staduim, something that threatened the future of the club due to the supermarket being only solution to clear it's debts, some 100 buddies stood outside the final meeting of Renfrewshire Council in Cotton Street on a wet Tuesday Morning in support. The club was granted permission at this meeting with a majority vote.

Paisley folk, or 'Buddies', as they refer to themselves, are very proud of their town and are fiercely loyal to it. In recent years, support for full city status has been gathering momentum. The town already meets the criteria for city status, boasting both a cathedral and a university. Rivalry with the town's larger and more dominant west coast neighbour, Glasgow, runs strong, and to call a Buddie a Glaswegian is met with a similar reaction to a Scot being called English. Buddies are also very friendly and pragmatic people. Perhaps traces of the radical working class thinkers remain.

Areas of Paisley

The town of Paisley is divided into the following districts and communities:

See also



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