10 things you might not know about Paisley

Paisley will this weekend celebrate the first anniversary of the launch of its bid to be UK City of Culture 2021.

And to mark the occasion we have come up with ten interesting facts about the town which you may or may not have already known...


1) The town centre has the highest concentration of listed buildings of anywhere in Scotland outside of Edinburgh- including the historic Anchor Mill shown here.

 Anchor Mill

2) Paisley Gilmour Street is the fourth-busiest station in Scotland with more than five million passengers per year - more than Haymarket, Aberdeen or Dundee

 Paisley Gilmour Street

3) Paisley Abbey is a familiar sight. But did you know it contains the tomb of Marjory Bruce – daughter of Robert the Bruce – who died there while giving birth to the future Robert II of Scotland?

 Paisley Abbey

4) Also – have you ever spotted the alien gargoyle among the intricate statues on the outside of the Abbey? It was thought to have been carved by a sci-fi –loving rogue stonemason in the early 1990s.

 Alien gargoyle

5) The University of the West of Scotland offers Scotland’s only Masters course in songwriting and performance. Might the next Paolo Nutini be studying there?


6) Paisley Museum has a copy of one of the world’s most spectacular books – The Birds of America by John James Audubon, who illustrated every species of bird in the USA in the 19th century.

 Paisley Museum

7) The Coats Observatory is the oldest public observatory in Scotland. Any keen stargazers can go along to any of their twice-weekly winter viewing nights.

 Coats Observatory

8) Paisley is the only place in the UK to currently host to a start leg of the world-famous Monte Carlo Classic Rally. And it will be back on 25 January 2017.

 Paisley 2021 car at Monte Carlo

9) The Paisley Beer Festival takes place in the town hall every April, having been run by Renfrewshire CAMRA since 1987. But did you know it was the biggest of its kind in Scotland?

 Paisley Beer Festival

10) Paisley was the location for the landmark ‘snail in a bottle’ legal case. A lady visited a local cafe, was served a bottle of ginger beer with a dead snail in it, fell ill and successfully sued the manufacturer, thus creating the modern concept of negligence.

Snail in a bottle