Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
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:
- Renfrew to the north
- Ralston to the east (considered by many as being part of Paisley, despite lying outside of the town's pre-1974 boundaries)
- Barrhead to the southeast (over the border in East Renfrewshire)
- Johnstone and Elderslie to the west
- Linwood to the west-northwest
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.
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:
- Arkleston , Auchentorlie
- Blackhall , Braehead
- Castlehead , Charleston
- East End
- Ferguslie Park , Foxbar
- Gallowhill , Glenburn , Glenfield , Gockston
- Hawkhead , Hunterhill
- Meikleriggs , Millarston
- Nethercommon , Nethercraigs
- Saucel , Seedhill , Shortroods , South End , Stanely
- Thornly Park , Todholm
- West End , Whitehaugh , Williamsburgh
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