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Scotland - Discover Paisley

Discover Paisley

Paisley in Scotland is a vibrant hub of culture situated only 7 miles from Glasgow. Paisley is currently bidding for the UK City of Culture 2021 in acknowledgement to the town’s internationally significant heritage and the it’s ability to transform historical milestones into a bright dynamic future for its residents, attracting visitors and businesses to the region.

Paisley is unofficially the largest town in Scotland and its rich history includes many important and significant historical events, which includes Paisley Abbey as the 'cradle' of the Stuart Royal Family, right through to the textile industry that thrived in the 18th and 19th centuries.

There are many tourist attractions throughout the year in Paisley with the community hosting cultural, music and food events – all part of the Paisley’s grassroots creative scene.

Paisley Abbey is historically important and also a beautiful architectural building in its own right. It began life as a priory, before earning its status as an Abbey in 1245.This was the religious hub not only for the region but for Scotland as well, having control over many of the churches in the local area. Paisley Abbey, as one of Scotland’s major religious houses is believed to have educated William Wallace, (a leading figure in the Wars Of Independence against the English in the 13th century), who became a 'Guardian of Scotland'.  Paisley Abbey holds the Royal tomb of Princess Marjorie Bruce (1296 – 1316), the mother of King Robert II of Scotland.

Under the rule of James II the area around Paisley came together, allowing markets, trading and commerce to grow. In 1488, James IV raised the towns status to Burgh of barony. As Paisley grew Paisley Town Council formed the first official school in 1577.

Another important historical fact, not often known, is the infamous Paisley witches were tried in Paisley in 1697.  Seven of the witches were convicted, five were hung and then burnt on the Gallow Green and their remains buried at Maxwell Cross in the west end of the town. This was the last mass execution for witch craft in western Europe. A horse shoe was placed on the top of the burial site to keep the evil locked away. A replica horse shoe is visible in the middle of a busy junction with the inscription "Pain inflicted, suffering endured, injustice done".

In the late in the 18th century, the industrial revolution saw Paisley develop from a small market town, to a major industrial town manufacturing textiles. Silk was popular until 1790 when the town switched to making the imitation Kashmir shawls called 'Paisley'. The teardrop pattern, or Paisley pattern, was made famous by young Queen Victoria, who frequently wore her Paisley Shawl as a cover up. By the 1870’s however, the shawl had dropped out of fashion but the pattern is still an important symbol of the town today.

Today Paisley businesses and industries include whiskey produces, food production, microelectronics and computer systems. Many of the local Paisley businesses are within the service sector, as the Renfrewshire council has its headquarters in Paisley. Glasgow International airport can also be found on the edge of Paisley town.

Tourists and visitors to Paisley can visit many museums, churches and historical sites, such as Dunn Square, the Paisley War Memorial, the Coats Observatory and the Thomas Coats Memorial Church.  That is what makes Paisley a vibrant interesting tourist destination.

Paisley Abbey Wedding Event Blog

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