Doors Open Day brochure for Paisley Abbey. Includes a short description of the work conducted in 2009 by myself, Bob Will and Stephen Driscoll from the University of Glasgow Archaeology Department and Archaeological Research Division.
European Heritage Days
DOORS OPEN DAY
Sat 12th September
Paisley, Bishopton, Inchinnan, Renfrew, Erskine
Sun 13th September
Johnstone, Elderslie, Kilbarchan, Houston, Howwood, Lochwinnoch
PART OF EUROPEAN HERITAGE DAYS
RENFREWSHIRE’S 16TH DOORS OPEN DAY
Renfrewshire’s Doors Open Day is part of a Europe-wide celebration of our built heritage known
as European Heritage Days. Events take place every September in 49 countries, with over 20
million visits recorded annually. Co-ordinated nationally by the Scottish Civic Trust, in 2008 951
“buildings” took part in the programme all over Scotland. For more information on this year’s
Doors Open Days see www.doorsopendays.org.uk or contact the SCT brochure ordering line on
0141 248 1188.
This year’s national theme celebrates Homecoming Scotland 2009, the year long celebration of
Scotland, centred on the 250th anniversary of Burns birth, and focused on themes of ancestry,
golf, whisky, innovation heritage and culture.
Scottish Archaeology Month also forms part of European Heritage Days. For more information
see www.scottisharchaeologymonth.com or call 0845 872 3333. We have some very special
archaeology in this year’s programme - see below!
In this year’s programme
Ever watched Time Team? See real archaeologists at work near the Collegiate Church, Castle
Semple, where the Renfrewshire Local History Forum’s archaeology section will be carrying out a
geophysical survey around the church to try to trace any other buildings which might have been
part of the complex. They will also be excavating a midden nearby which might be related to the
nearby 18th century mansion house.
Abbey Drain Dig
We hope to be conducting an exciting excavation around the modern manhole which leads into
Paisley Abbey’s unique great drain. Funding is not confirmed as we go to press, but, with luck,
archaeologists from the University of Glasgow will conduct a 12 day excavation culminating
around Doors Open Day which should throw light on the construction history of the drain, may
help to date it more precisely, and explain why it is of such an unusual scale. If the excavation
takes place, the archaeologists will be on hand on Doors Open Day to talk to visitors, and
explain their findings.
Local businesses have generously offered to sponsor
the event by providing some of the necessary
equipment. Renfrewshire Council thanks Acre
Industrial, On Site Ltd and Scot Jet Ltd for their
Homecoming Scotland 2009
Renfrewshire Registration Service is offering a half hour taster session in tracing your ancestry.
Book early, places in short supply. Tel: 0141 840 3362.
Have you Semple ancestors in your family? If so, to celebrate the year of Homecoming, come
and raise the Semple family flag at Castle Semple Centre to show a Semple has come home!
Just ask at reception and sign the special visitors’ book.
See the exhibition at Paisley Central Library which celebrates the connection between Paisley
Scotland and Paisley Oregon USA.
New this year
The final piece in the jigsaw of development and restoration of the Anchor Mills area is now
in place (No. 31). The Gatehouse has been refurbished and this iconic little building is now
restored as the entry point to the mill complex.
J & W Goudie, Funeral Directors of Maxwellton Street have generously offered to provide a
limousine service around Paisley for Doors Open Day visitors. The limousines will operate on the
route shown on the centre page map, with two cars.
• Saturday 12th 2.30 - Oakshaw and its Churches. Starting at 6 Oakshaw Street ( formerly
Moran’s Auctioneers). Duncan Macintosh, Renfrewshire Council’s Conservation Officer, will
lead an exploration of Oakshaw’s churches in this “outstanding conservation area” including
6 Oakshaw Street former Moran’s auctioneers. This is the last of the public buildings to be
regenerated on Oakshaw, a super conversion into maisonettes. Duncan’s long and energetic
career as champion of Renfrewshire’s built heritage (and expert adviser to Doors Open Day!)
ends with his retirement at the end of September.
• Sunday Johnstone History Society Guided Walks
11.00 and 14.00, each walk will start at Johnstone
Local History Museum in Morrison’s supermarket
building - entrance at Napier Street or through Key to building notes
covered walkway at Collier Street. See museum entry
no (7) for details. Refreshments
• Saturday Formakin Estate - guided walks at 11.00 Toilets
and 14.00 booked places only - book by emailing pt@ Music
Specially for Doors Open Day
The Bull Inn, (5) Paisley’s lovely Art Nouveau pub, is Building in Children’s Passport
offering 25% discount on food if you take your DOD With Historic Graveyards
programme with you on Saturday 12th.
Don’t forget Renfrewshire’s Children’s Passport Unassisted wheelchair access
designed to make Door’s Open Day fun for Assisted wheelchair access
youngsters. Passports available from buildings, Paisley
Tourist Information Centre or the Department of Not suitable for disabled
Planning & Transport, tel; 0141 842 5811.
1 PAISLEy AbbEy AND tHE PLACE Of PAISLEy
Open 10.00 - 16.00
(12th century onwards, transepts, tower
and choir 19th & 20th century by Rowand
Anderson, Peter Macgregor Chambers,
Robert Lorimer). A sumptuous collection of 1
25 stained glass windows by 15 different
artists, The Abbey Tower will be open (50p Council’s architects to an Arts Centre in 1987.
admission), - marvellous views of the town, The café will be open for teas, coffees, cakes,
upper floors of Place of Paisley open. Visit the snacks and lunches. From 10.30 to14.30
nearby Abbey Drain excavation. free mask making drop-in workshop where
you and your family can recreate some of
2 PAISLEy tOWN HALL the ancient treasures from Indiana Jones
Open 10.00 - 16.00 5 tHE buLL INN
(WH Lynn 1872 - 82)
This substantial classical building provides a New Street
suite of grand halls and function rooms for the Open 11.00 - 01.00, Sunday 12.30 - 23.45
town. Climb the staircase to view the first floor (W.D. McLennan 1900-01)
Loggia and Balcony with views of the Abbey. Rare Art Nouveau pub with dark joinery,
Disabled access via Gauze Street entrance. stained glass, cosy snugs around beautiful
Guided tours, children’s activities. From 10.30 top lit rear lobby. A ten flat tenement towers
- 15.30 experience the excitement and thrills above like an Arthur Rackham fantasy. Bring
of CGI as you’re chased “Indiana Jones style” your Doors Open Day programme and get
when the Town Hall joins in the archaeology a 25% discount on food on Saturday 12th.
6 SMA’ SHOt COttAGE
3 St MAttHEW’S CHurCH Of tHE NAzArENE
11/17 George Place, 14 Shuttle St
Gordon Street Open 10.00 - 16.00
Open 11.00 - 15.00 (Weavers’ & artisans’ houses, 18th & 19th
tea room open 11.00 - 14.00 century) Headquarters of the energetic Old
(WD McLennan, 1906): The finest work of Paisley Society which has restored these
Paisley’s own Art Nouveau architect, the cottages as a museum. Restored Victorian
church vies with Mackintosh’s earlier Queen’s interiors typical of Paisley’s historic 19th
Cross Church for the title of the most art century development. Costumed guides and
nouveau church in Scotland. Majestic Great tours of the complex. Tearoom provides light
War memorial window in choir by Robert lunches. (Wheelchair access to lower floors
Anning Bell. Leaflet about building and only).
congregation. This year the congregation
celebrates its centenary. Special children’s 7 PAISLEy MuSEuM & Art GALLErIES
programme with puppets and magic, every
hour. Organ music throughout the day. High Street
Open 10.00 - 17.00 Sat &
4 PAISLEy ArtS CENtrE 14.00 -17.00 Sun (John Honeyman 1868
& 1881); Honeyman Keppie & Mackintosh
New Street 1902; T G Abercrombie, 1915) Uplifting
Open 10.00 - 16.00 neo Classical palace of the visual arts.
(James Baird and John Hart 1736-38) Built by Disabled please ring first to arrange visit
the Town Council as the first post reformation and parking (0141 889 3151). There will be
church in the town. Converted by the drop-in archaeology workshops where you
can experience first hand the work of an Delightful Victorian vestry with restored
archaeologist by taking part in your very stencilling and toilet. Some decorative glass.
own simulated dig. There will also be the Tower trips till 15.30, weather permitting.
opportunity to take part in textile activities Last admission 15.45. Again this year a flight
using ancient technology. simulator provided by the Mission Aviation
No disabled access to Art Galleries. Fellowship, a charity which flies missionaries
and medical personnel to places commercial
8 PAISLEy CENtrAL LIbrAry airlines cannot land.
High Street 10 CENtrAL bAPtISt CHurCH
Open 9.00 - 17.00. museum
14.00 Reference Library 1868 by John 14 Lady Lane
Honeyman. Lending and children’s libraries Open 10.00 - 16.00
1904 by Honeyman, Keppie and Mackintosh, Church 1867, gallery added 1891, hall 1965,
altered and extended in 1933 by Keppie now newly refurbished. Serving three joined
& Henderson. Charles Rennie Mackintosh congregations formed in 1795, this is the
designed the lending libraries in 1902. older and simpler of Paisley’s two Baptist
Exhibitions will include “The Icebreakers,” churches. Teas.
celebrating the cultural link between Paisley,
Oregon, and Paisley Scotland. Various
activities based on the “Wild West” theme. 11 COAtS ObSErvAtOry
9 tHOMAS COAtS MEMOrIAL bAPtISt CHurCH 49 Oakshaw Street West
Open 10.00 - 16.00 Guided tours 10.30,
High Street 11.30, 2.30 & 3.30
Open 11.00 - 16.00 (John Honeyman 1883)
(Hippolyte G Blanc 1894). The “Baptist For Health & Safety reasons the building is
Cathedral of Europe”; a Gothic church of limited to 50 people at a time. A ramp links a
great presence and drama, terminating sequence of perfect classical rooms stacked
the view along the High Street. Interior of in four storey tower and answering questions
serious opulence in excellent preservation about astronomy. Alexander Stoddart’s bust
rich in sculptures in oak, bronze and marble. of Newton. Painted glass windows depicting
astronomers. Coats Observatory is one of only
two of its kind in Scotland, open all year round
to the public.
12 PAISLEy PHOtOGrAPHIC SOCIEty glass windows - two by Oscar Paterson c1918,
two by Alec Walker, c1909 and 1921, Gordon
53 - 55 Oakshaw Street Webster, 1951, Sadie McLellan, 1973, and
Open 10.00 - 16.00 floor only John Clark, 1996. Stunning plaster ceiling.
Exhibition of members photography, tours of Music.
13 JOHN NEILSON INStItutION 15 HOLy trINIty & St bArNAbAS CHurCH
West Brae St James Place/Moss St.
Open 10.00 - 16.00 Open 10.00 - 16.00
(Charles Wilson 1849-52) Wilson’s astonishing 16.00 Choral Evensong.
addition to Paisley’s skyline; a fabulous (1833, Choir added 1883). Behind thin
distortion of antique classical forms, known “Gothick” facade, discover the richly
to locals as the “Porridge Bowl”. Originally decorated choir with stained glass window
a school financed by a local grocer, now of Christ in Glory given by Harveys of Castle
converted to flats. The central atrium, with Semple, 1883. Contrasting, with startling
statue of Diogenes by Alexander Stoddart, colours, the new west window portrays times
will be open. of day, the seasons, and places connected to
the lives commemorated by Colin Stevenson.
14 OAKSHAW trINIty CHurCH Exhibition of vestments, church needlework
and lace making, live organ music. Hot and
Oakshaw Street East cold drinks and snacks
Open 10.00 - 16.00
(John White 1754, steeple 1770, interior 16 SHErIff COurt HOuSE PAISLEy
renovated 1877 by Rennison & Scott) 1899 Hill
organ newly restored. Seven notable stained St James Street
Open 10.00 - 17.00
14 Clarke & Bell, 1885 & 1890. Baxter Clark &
Paul 1997. Enter 1885 palazzo and ascend
its grand staircase now extending into 1890
former County Buildings to view panelled
County Hall with 40 foot long relief sculpture
15 by John Rhind. Note also bust by James
Fillans, frieze behind raised portico outside
by FW Pomeroy. Refurbished and greatly
extended to rear 1997. Visit to cells, prison
van and two courtrooms - sit in the judge’s
17 St JAMES CHurCH Of SCOtLAND
Open 10.00 - 16.00
(Hippolyte Blanc 1880, 1904). Muscular Gothic
revival, dominated by a tall strong steeple. A
landmark but also a building of considerable
architectural merit. Almost certainly this
church and the accomplished treatment of the
cruciform plan interior helped to win Blanc the
commission for the Coats Memorial Church.
Stained glass throughout the church, most by
A. Ballantine & Gardiner. Handbells - try your
18 WALLNEuK NOrtH CHurCH 20 MArtyrS’ CHurCH
Abercorn Street Broomlands Street
Open 10.00 - 12.00 Open 10.00 - 15.00
(T G Abercrombie 1913-15) Hailed as the (1847) Sturdy neo-Norman front and tower
triumph of stylish Paisley architect Thomas and interior changes by T G Abercrombie,
Graham Abercrombie, this perpendicular 1904. Organ music at intervals during the day.
Gothic creation is one of the most powerful Light refreshments.
compositions to be found in Paisley. Special
Exhibition“ A Year In the Life of Wallneuk 21 tANNAHILL’S COttAGE
Church”. Please note the church has a
wedding on Saturday afternoon, so is open for Queen Street
Doors Open Day morning only. Open 11.00 - 15.30
Especially important in this year of
19 AbErCOrN CONfErENCE & LEArNING CENtrE Homecoming and Burns 250th anniversary.
The cottage was built 1775 by the father of
Reid Kerr College Paisley poet Robert Tannahill who lived here
Renfrew Road most of his life (1774-1810). Home of the
Open 10.00 - 16.00 Paisley Burns Club, one of the two oldest
(John Hutchison, 1902) This historic building Burns clubs in the world. Reopened after
is in “board school” style with Art Nouveau fire in 2003 with new display of Burns and
features. It now forms part of an expanding Tannahill memorabilia.
Reid Kerr College campus and was in 2001
internally renovated and refurbished to 22 PAISLEy MASONIC tEMPLE
provide a state of the art Conference & Limited to
Training Centre. Many of the original features 68 Maxwellton Road ground
externally and internally have been retained Open 11.00 - 16.00
and add to the character of this historic (Probably by Woodhouse and Morely of
building. Exhibition of Reid Kerr Students’ Bradford, 1886). Built as the managers’ and
Work. staff dining hall for the Ferguslie Thread
Works, see fine stained glass stair window.
Bought by the Masons of Paisley 1956/57. All
five Paisley Lodges now meet here. Exhibition
of masonic regalia, including Art Nouveau
furniture by WD McLennan for Lodge 370 of
which he was a member. Fund raising events
for a nominated charity.
23 CAStLEHEAD PArISH CHurCH
Canal Street/Main Road
Open 12.00 - 16.00
(1781-82, refurbished 1868) Originally the
West Relief Church, this tall, substantial hall Customer Services Centre, Marriage Suite and
kirk sits within the wooded graveyard which Council Chamber. Its focal point is the new
contains the poet Tannahill’s tomb (1810) Chamber which is suspended over the public
and those of several victims of the 1832 service desks and is elliptical to embody the
cholera epidemic. Display of old church principles of equality and inclusive debate in
artefacts, conducted tours of the graveyard local democracy. Provost Lawson will welcome
and Tannahill memorial. Disabled access to visitors to the Chamber.
graveyard difficult. Light refreshments
27 rENfrEWSHIrE HOuSE - rEGIStrAtION SErvICE
24 St MAry’S rC CHurCH
Interested in tracing your ancestry
167 George Street during this Year of Homecoming?
Open 10.30 - 14.00 Renfrewshire’s registrars will be available to
Pugin and Pugin 1891, apse added 1905) help you search. Book early for a half hour
Decorated Gothic in red sandstone. Post war taster session guided by a registrar, telephone
stained glass above choir, and in the apse, the registration section on 0141 840 3362
members of the congregation (teachers, before Doors Open Day. Sessions run from
cleaner, etc) under Our Lady’s mantle (?1968). 10.00 finishing at 14.00 in the Customer
Whole church completely restored, including Services Centre, so available places will be in
the Watt organ. short supply.
25 St MIrIN’S rC CAtHEDrAL 28 DIStrICt COurt
Incle Street/Glasgow Road Mill Street
Open 08.00 - 16.00 Open 10.00 - 13.00
(Thomas Baird 1930-32) Neo Romanesque (1969-1973 Hutchison Locke and Monke) The
with airy vaulted interior. Embellished after most homely part of the huge public buildings
becoming a cathedral in 1940s, including complex, itself one of the better examples
high in the sanctuary, four colourful tripartite of 1960’s brutalism. Guide on hand to show
windows depicting the Eucharistic miracles. visitors around the building including the cells.
Also in vestibule see window of Jesus with
Children at site of font by Charles Baillie, 29 ANCHOr MILLS WESt GAtEHOuSE
1932. Masses at 10.00,13.00 and 18.30.
Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament 10.30 - Seedhill/Mill St
13.00. Open 10.00 - 16.00
(1909, Woodhouse & Morley of Bradford)
26 rENfrEWSHIrE HOuSE This diminutive building mimics the huge
Anchor Mill built 13 years before, and served
Cotton Street to control gates on both flanks and as the
(additions Cooper Cromer, 2007) mill’s own telephone exchange. Empty and
Customer Services Centre open 10.00 - 16.00 abused since 1984, the Council managed
Chamber open 10.00 - 13.00 on a second attempt in 2007 to impose a
Renfrewshire House is Renfrewshire Council’s compulsory purchase order, resulting in its
Headquarters building which in addition to its acquisition by Marcus Dean who has converted
refurbished open plan offices features a new it to let as offices. This restoration completes
the regeneration of the Anchor Mills area.
33 LIvING WAtEr CHrIStIAN CENtrE
Open 10.00 - 16.00
(built 1885 as U.F. church, now with a new
congregation) Two windows, Mary and
Martha, possibly by Stephen Adam (1846/48
- 1910) whose only other surviving work in
30 PAISLEy tHrEADMILL MuSEuM- MILE END MILL Paisley is a pair of windows in the Abbey.
Seedhill Road 34 LyLESLAND CHurCH Of SCOtLAND
Open 10.00 - 16.00
(1899, W J Morley of Bradford for J & P 123 Rowan Street, Paisley
Coats) A listed. Six tall floors high in red brick, Open 11.00 - 15.00
18 bays long, with stair towers topped with Greenock & Will, 1983 (halls 1955)
landmark copper roofed lanterns. The building Bright, spacious church with fine acoustics to
now functions as a business centre. An area of appreciate the highly reputed direct-action
the ground floor has been provided rent free pipe organ (1983) by Nigel Church with
for the development of a museum devoted Cedar of Lebanon casework. Particularly
to the thread industry of Paisley, run by well suited to the Baroque repertoire. Pulpit
volunteers. Exhibitions of mill memorabilia, (1880s) and Italian white marble font (1925)
including a large collection of photographs of brought from the congregation’s original
former employees. church in Stock Street. Special exhibition on
the 125th anniversary of the founding of the
31 ANCHOr MILL congregation.
Lonend 35 SCOtSCrAIG
Open 10.00 - 16.00
(1886, Woodhouse and Morley, of Bradford) 18 Park Road,
Largest of the 40 Clark mill buildings on the Open 10.00 - 16.30
Anchor Mills site, the Domestic Finishing Mill (John Hutchison) Substantial villa of many
stands in an imposing location on the White gables and bay windows overlooking terraced
Cart by the Hammills waterfall and forms gardens. Built for industrialist John Scott of
the third of the trio of iconic buildings in this Eadie Brothers Ltd, now a 5 star b&b.
part of the town, the others being the Abbey
and the Town Hall. The huge atrium space
formerly housed the engines from which drive 13
was taken to equipment on each of the four
floors. Slide presentation, art for sale. Marie
Hay local artist will be showing her work.
32 MILL brIDGE
The iconic footbridge across the White Cart,
built around 1880 is a fine example of a bow
string trussed footbridge with wrought iron
railings. The Prince’s Regeneration Trust
in collaboration with Renfrewshire Council
Department of Planning and Transport,
Morrison’s PLC and Historic Scotland
contributed £590,000 to its restoration by
20 24 10
SEE INSET 1
Route 1 Limousine Shuttle
Route 2 Limousine Shuttle
BISHOPTON ERSKINE INCHINNAN
36 fOrMAKIN EStAtE
Off B789, Houston Road, wedding fair during the day.
Nr. Bishopton. Refreshments at the Garden
(Robert Lorimer, 1903-14) Guided tours only Centre cafe.
11.00 and 14.00. To book (limited to 20 each
tour) please email firstname.lastname@example.org 39 INDIA Of INCHINNAN
Leaflets and display of historic photographs.
Meet in the car park prior to tours. Not 37
suitable for other than able bodied. Wear Greenock Road (A8)
stout footwear. Open 10.00 - 17.00 Guided tours (Wallis,
Gilbert & Ptnrs 1929-30, rear block by Gordon
37 GLEDStANE PArK, tHE GOvAN CHAIrMAN Gibb, 2001) Art Deco office block to former
tyre factory, wings added 1956, restored
Gledstane Road, Bishopton. and new futuristic block added for Graham
10.00 - 16.00 Technology plc. Café and Restaurant open.
1893. Square Scottish villa with granite causs
facing and honey stone mullions. Home of 40 INCHINNAN PArISH CHurCH
John McLaughlin, the GOVAN CHAIR MAN.
See John’s fascinating collection of quirky Old Greenock Road
hand carved chairs. A unique miniature chair Open 10.00 - 16.00
will be the prize for the children’s activities. (Miller and Black, 1966) A veritable gallery of
fine art salvaged from All Hallows’ Church
38 ErSKINE HOME - rEID MACEWAN trAINING (1899-1904), mostly given by the Campbells
& CONfErENCE CENtrE of Blythswood. Great sanctuary window by
Charles Kemp; five fine windows by another
Reid MacEwen Training & hand with unusual use of perpective; Rose
Conference Centre, window of angels in glorious rainbow hues
Open 10.00 - 16.00 around mystic symbols of God. See also
Erskine Home, off B815 at J1 of M898, window in session house. Exhibition about
Send off Erskine Bridge. (1856, Wiliam Burn) the church and local history. Tours to All
Heritage Lottery and Historic Scotland funded Hallows Graveyard, site of the former church
stable block, built in Tudor Gothic style in demolished to make way for the Airport in
1856 by William Burn to serve Erskine House. 1965.
Impeccably restored and adapted to its
current function as a training and conference
centre by Mike and Sue Thornley. Also of
interest is the contemporary octagonal Pigsty.
Specially for Doors Open Day, there will be a
rENfrEW OLD PArISH CHurCH Of 45 CLyDEbuILt
SCOtLAND AND HALLS
Braehead Shopping Centre
High Street Renfrew, toilet.
Kings Inch Road
Halls - Glebe Street Open 10.00 - 17.30
Open 10.00 - 13.00 Clydebuilt tells the story of trade, ships and
(John Rochead 1862) Lancet Gothic with ship building on the Clyde. Special exhibition
beautiful broach spire. Chancel altered 1908 “The Clyde’s Navy” - Discover the history of
by P. MacGregor Chalmers. Inside two late the Navy on the Clyde in an interactive audio
medieval tombs. 19th early & late 20th visual exhibition. Free entry for Doors Open
Century stained glass. Large selection of Day. www.scottishmaritimemuseum.org. Look
19th, early 20th and late 20th Century stained out for Zap Cat racing on the river.
glass windows, including one ‘By the River of
Babylon’, by Alexander Walker, 1896? Displays 42
by all church organisations in hall, Glebe
Street. Refreshments and home baking.
42 rENfrEW tOWN HALL
Hairst Street/High Street Renfrew
Open 10.00 - 16.00
(James Lamb, 1871-73, rebuilt 1877 without
mansard roof) Mixed French Gothic with sky
piercing turretted tower and lofty halls within.
43 trINIty CHurCH
13 Paisley Road
Open 10.00 - 14.00
(built 1865, radical alteration and enlargement
1903-4 by William D McLennan)
Quaint Gothic church with spired belfry.
Double transepts and new roof structure
integrated with McLennan’s characteristic
idiosyncracy, this is his earliest church
architecture. (See also Eastgate Church and
St Matthews Church of the Nazarene). Note
carved winged animals on belfry, austere, Art
Nouveau stained glass in vestibule doors and
unique roof trusses.
44 rENfrEW COMMuNIty MuSEuM
41 Canal Street
Open 10.00 - 16.00
Early French Renaissance with Art Nouveau
cupola, gift from Andrew Brown, three times
Provost of Renfrew. Left of entry was library,
now local history museum; right was a shop
and upstairs, a reading room and panelled
billiard room with great oriel window, (under
Johnstone Guided Walks of the town’s history opened in April this
year. The museum contains archival material
Led by Derek Parker, the walks will investigate from two of the town’s best known firms -
various aspects of Johnstone’s history. Each walk Wm. Paton Ltd and Clifton and Baird as well
will take about one and a half hours. Please wear as other valuable material relating to other
stout footwear, and be prepared for the weather! aspects of the town’s heritage. The Café in
the supermarket is open all day.
11.00 - 12.30 approx - Historic Streets
Why did the Laird of Johnstone keep it in the
49 JOHNStONE CAStLE
family when he named the streets of the town?
To put it another way, who were the McDowalls,
Houstons Walkinshaws and Rankins? Who were Tower Road, Johnstone
Anne, Russell, William and Napier who had Open 10.30 - 16.00
streets named after them? (late 15th/early 16th C, altered 1771, N tower
altered & raised 1812)
14.00 - 15.30 approx - Historic graveyard walk Seat of the lairds of Johnstone from 1733,
This walk will explore the amazing link between hugely extended in 1812, here Frederick
Houston Square in the town centre the city of Chopin was a bored guest in 1848. After use
Houston in Texas and uncle Sam the archetypal as HQ of a prisoner of war camp, it was shorn
American. Then on to the cemetery of Johnstone of the castellated wings in 1956, and left
High Parish Church where Derek will reveal empty. New owners are now bravely restoring
many fascinating facts about people of note who this much knocked about tower house to be
helped make Johnstone a town to be proud of. their home. Children must be accompanied by
46 JOHNStONE HIGH PArISH CHurCH
50 ELDErSLIE KIrK
Quarry Street, Johnstone
Open 10.00 - 16.00, service 11.00 - 12.00 284 Main Road, Elderslie
(1792) On the axis of Church Street, elongated Open 13.00 -16.00
octagon with octagonal tower and needle (1840, 1885-86) Sturdy grey stone Gothic
spire added 1823. William Lang of Paisley. kirk with belfried gable front. Set of four
Session house 1824. Thoroughly Scots kirk stained glass windows ‘God’s Gifts to the
interior remodelled by David Thomson 1875. Universe’ by Leslie McPhee, 1990, installed
Stained glass windows by Sadie McLennan to mark the church’s 150th anniversary.
Flowing abstract forms, with blues and whites.
47 St JOHN’S EPISCOPAL CHurCH, Refurbished in the 1950s, the church has
light coloured African hardwood pews which
Floors Street, Johnstone give a brightness to the sanctuary. Organ
Open 12.00 - 16.00 music during the afternoon. refreshments and
(David Thomson, 1874 and 1878) Simple early children’s activities.
pointed Gothic exterior, interior rich with
colourful mosaic reredos and fine stained 51 EASt GAtE CHurCH
glass. Vestments on display.
5 Glenpatrick Road, Elderslie
48 JOHNStONE HIStOry MuSEuM (formerly East Elderslie Parish Church)
Open 13.00 - 16.00 (service 10.45 - 12.15)
30 Napier Street (WD McLennan 1898-1900)
(within Morrison’s Supermarket) Johnstone The earliest of this idiosyncratic Paisley
entrance at Napier Street or through covered architect’s three red sandstone churches,
walkway at Collier Street Decorated Gothic with hint of Art Nouveau.
Open 10.00 - 16.00 Closed in 1977 and restored and reopened in
Established and run by the Johnstone History 2001. Dramatic new stained glass window, ‘The
Society, funded by Heritage Lottery and Two Edged Sword’ (Hebrews 4:12) by Emma
hosted by Morrison’s Ltd, this new museum Butler-Cole Aiken, AMGP. Activities for children.
52 HOuStON AND KILLELLAN KIrK
Kirk Road, Houston
Open 10.00 - 16.00 (Service 11.00 - 12.00)
(David Thomson, 1875) on site of older
kirk. Effigies of Sir Patrick Houston and
Lady Agnes Campbell 1456. Stained glass
windows include from 1920s by Gordon
Webster, Douglas Strachan, and 1950s by
William Wilson. Book on church’s history
on sale. Pulpit falls designed and sewn by
church members on display. Activities for 56 KILbArCHAN WESt PArISH CHurCH
children. Refreshments and home baking. No
wheelchair accessible toilet. Church Street, Kilbarchan
Open 12.00 - 16.00
53 OLD KILALLAN PArISH CHurCH (Wiliam H Howie, 1899-1901) Spacious
Gothic interior. A chance to hear the second
Corsliehill Road, nr. Kilallan Road, best organ in the west of Scotland, and see
2 miles west of Houston six glass windows by various artists, four
Guided Tour (ask at Houston & Kilellan Parish Edwardian and one by (?) James Wright
Church). Remote ruin of 1635 church with (d 1947). Historical exhibition. Refreshments
early gravestones. and home baking in the hall.
54 StEEPLE HALL 57 KILbArCHAN WESt CHurCH HALL
Steeple Square, Kilbarchan Church Street,
Open 10.00 - 16.00 Kilbarchan
(David Kerr 1755, rebuilt 1782) Designed Open 12.00 - 16.00
as both meal market and school. The 1932 (James Baird 1724) Enlarged to T plan with
bronze copy of 1822 wooden statue by tower in 1858 by Alexander Kirkland. Two of
Archibald Robertson of Greenock of the three galleries removed and floor raised after
village’s legendary piper Habbie Simpson 1901. Six crow stepped gables. Fine stained
stands in a niche on the tower. glass - Munich. Door panels by John Cairney,
1850s. Cairney taught Cottier. Refreshments
55 KILbArCHAN OLD LIbrAry and home baking
High Barholm 58 KILbArCHAN EASt CHurCH
Open 10.00 - 16.00
Red sandstone former Liberal Club,
then library, now restored by Kilbarchan Steeple Square,
Improvement Projects (KIPCo) as a vibrant Kilbarchan
community centre. Photographic exhibitions Open 12.00 - 16.00
of old Kilbarchan, with interactive computer (James Brown, 1787-89, based
programme of photographs, identifying on 1781 Castlehead Church
people in 1930s groups. Weather permitting, Paisley, interior altered 1872-3
visit the garden landscaped by Carts by Robert Baldie) Two stained
Greenspace, with funding from a range glass windows, 1902, marking
of community environmental bodies. 60 year ministry of Rev
Refreshments. George Alison. Organ recital.
59 HOWWOOD PArISH CHurCH Tower Tours: visit the top of the Castle Semple
Visitor Centre Tower and admire the views
Beith Road over Castle Semple Loch; tours on demand
Open 13.00 - 14.00 between 14.00 and 16.00. Special “now and
Nave 1858, choir and trancepts1880s, hall then” exhibition. As part of the Homecoming
1911 and 1996. Modest Gothic church but Scotland 2009 programme, if you’re a Semple,
with splendid stained glass, memorialising “come and raise the flag” to show a Semple
the laird and the mill owners. The two west has come home.
side windows, 1858, gifted by the Harveys Exhibition on Castle Semple Estate, its history,
of Castle Semple, the main window for ‘a heritage and changing landscapes on show all
delightful daughter’ who died in 1871, bears weekend.
her initials and perhaps her portrait among
the children coming to Christ, recently
restored. The windows to east, 1880s by W Archaeology - Sunday only
& JJ Kerr of Glasgow, to north and south, At the Collegiate Church 1.5 miles from
1900’s by James Benson, commemorate three the Centre along NCR7, Renfrewshire Local
generations of McNabs. History Forum’s archaeologists will be carrying
out geophysical surveys and digging a midden
60 LOCHWINNOCH PArISH CHurCH nearby, probably related to the 18th century
mansion house. The Forum will be displaying
Lochwinnoch Parish Church, information about Renfrewshire’s castles at
Church St, Lochwinnoch the Centre, and launching a new publication
Open 13.00 - 16.00 about the Castle Semple area.
(Andrew of Kilbarchan 1806-08)
Elongated octagonal plan behind high Doric 62 St JOHN’S CHurCH
porch below classical belfry, clock and spire.
Interior little altered. Stained glass here and in Johnshill Lochwinnoch
Gothic church hall behind (1901). Open access
(1729) Remnant of cross-planned church with
61 CAStLE SEMPLE CENtrE birdcage belcote in graveyard at centre of
Access to the Auld Kirtoun - the original Lochwinnoch.
Lochlip Road Lochwinnoch floor Affectionately known as Auld Simon.
Tel: 01505 842 882
Open Saturday and Sunday 12th and 13th,
10.00 - 17.00
As Paisley grew in the 18th and 19th centuries
to be Scotland’s largest town, Oakshaw hill
was the favoured site for the churches and
schools serving the teaming town below. This
left us a rich architectural legacy of no less
than eight churches, three separate church
halls and two school buildings. Together
with the dome of the Observatory (11), their
towers and spires rise from well wooded villa 13
gardens and graveyards. This impressive
urban landscape proclaims the pride of Paisley
for miles around.
In the post war era, however, most of these
public buildings became redundant and one
by one were left empty. Oakshaw became run
down. The District and Regional Councils set
about regenerating the area in 1987 by
restoring the streetscape and aiding
conversions of listed buildings and
development of gap sites with houses. Since
then 11 churches, halls and schools have been
restored and given new leases of life. The 13
conversion of the former Moran’s Auction
Moran’s Auction Rooms before
Rooms marks the end of a process which was
begun in 1992 at the other end of the hill
with the rebirth of the JNI school (13) as 13
The number of dwellings has been increased
by 350 per cent, two thirds of the new flats
formed in converted listed buildings. About
half the £3.3m public expenditure up to 2001
went into streetscape works, and a quarter
each to the conversion of listed buildings and
as grants to householders. This huge effort
re-established Oakshaw as a desirable area, so
that more recent conversions such as that of
Moran’s have not depended on grants. The
Council sees the town’s wonderful townscape after
as one of the chief assets for its regeneration.
It has renewed the old floodlighting schemes
of the Abbey (1), Town Hall (2), Arts Centre
(4), Museum (7), St Matthews (3), Coats (9)
and High (14) churches and the JNI (13),
and added to these the new night time
illumination of the Anchor Mill (32).
PAISLEY ABBEY’S GREAT DRAIN
This year, it is hoped that as part of Doors
Open Day and Scottish Archaeology Month,
archaeologists from the University of Glasgow
will be conducting an investigation around the
modern manhole which is the present access
to the Drain. Paisley Abbey's drain is almost
unique in Britain, being in parts some1.5 to 2
metres in height, beautifully built of dressed
ashlar blocks. The drain was rediscovered Other finds included inscribed slates, buckles,
in 1990 when archaeologists from the lead seals, gaming pieces, and remains of
GUARD (Glasgow University Archaeological more than one hundred and forty plants.
Research Division) were directed to the Amongst these are food plants such as barley,
modern manhole by Frank Snow, of the then wheat, onions, kale, imports such as mace
Strathclyde Sewage Department. The drain and figs, and medicinal plants such as opium
was excavated of 2 feet (60 cm) of silt which poppies, greater celandine and hemlock.
contained some amazing finds.
The excavation's purpose is two-fold.
Fragments of pottery from several hundred First to provide information about the
vessels were recovered, along with a complete construction of the drain, and, it is hoped,
chamber pot (on display in Paisley Abbey help date the structure and reveal any earlier
sacristy). Work has been carried out this form of drain on the site.
summer by Sabrina Gillman a post graduate
student at Glasgow Uni, to catalogue and Second, to establish whether there is any
study this pottery. She has been assisted valuable archaeology here which might
by many volunteers from Renfrewshire Local preclude use of the area for any future
History Forum and Glasgow Archaeology permanent viewing facility.
The archaeologists will be on site during
Doors Open Day to explain their findings, and
there will be an exhibition in Paisley Abbey
providing more information about the drain.
Renfrewshire Council is very grateful to
the University of Glasgow’s Archaeology
Department, particularly Professor Steven
Driscoll, Robert Will and Sabrina Gillman for
their expertise and enthusiasm; the University
of the West of Scotland, particularly Tony
Grace of the School of Media, Language and
Music for recording the dig and helping make
it more widely known; Renfrewshire Local
History Forum, particularly Andrew Eadie and
Bruce Hendry for their unfailing support and
enthusiasm; Frank Snow - the man who knew
where the Drain was when the archaeologists
couldn’t find it and who has kept his sense of
excitement and ownership for nearly twenty
years; and On Site Ltd, Acre Industrial and
Scot Jet Ltd for their generous sponsorship of