The Renfrewshire Doors Open day programme of events has been released (please see the bottom of this post for the area wide pdf). This is a great weekend for gaining access to some of our amazing visitor attractions. Take your camera and the family and you will be in for a treat.
In this year’s programme:

(Maxwellton Street)
Limousine service available Saturday 10am – 4pm to ferry the
public between venues.
(42 Old Sneddon Street)
‘Buy one get one free’ offer on all main meals when you present
your Doors Open Day brochure.

(New Street)
Paisley’s lovely Art Nouveau pub is offering 25% discount on
food if you take your Doors Open Day brochure with you on
Saturday 10th.

Don’t forget Renfrewshire’s Children’s Passport designed to
make Doors Open Day fun for youngsters. Passports available
from participating buildings, the Tourist Information Point at
Paisley Town Hall or Planning & Transport Services, tel: 0141
842 5811.

Paisley’s medieval past excavation:
Volunteers from the Paisley Local History Forum
and GUARD Archaeology Ltd will conduct a ten day
excavation culminating around Doors Open Day, which
will throw light on the construction history of the Abbey
drain and an early monastic building. Archaeologists
will be on hand to talk to visitors and explain their

Paisley Abbey and
the Place of Paisley
(Abbey Close)
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 25 stained glass windows
by 15 different artists. The Abbey Tower will be open
(50p admission) for marvellous views of the town.
The upper floors of the Place of Paisley will also be open.
Guides available.

The unique Abbey’s great drain will be filmed
and a special cut of the film will be shown
continuously in Paisley Town Hall’s Loggia room
on Doors Open Day. Members of Renfrewshire
Local History Forum will be on hand to explain
more about Paisley’s history. Hopefully
archaeologists from Glasgow University will be
doing a ground penetrating radar survey around
Paisley Abbey.

Paisley Town Hall
(Abbey Close)
Open 10.00 – 16.00
(WH Lynn 1872 – 82)
This substantial classical building provides a
suite of grand halls and function rooms for the
town. Climb the staircase to view the first floor
Loggia and Balcony with views of the Abbey.
Disabled access via Gauze Street entrance.
Guided tours, children’s activities.
Anchor Mill
Open 10.00 – 16.00
(1886, Woodhouse and Morley of Bradford)
The largest of the 40 Clark mill buildings on the Anchor Mills
site, the Domestic Finishing Mill stands in an imposing
location on the White Cart by the Hammills waterfall
and forms the third of the trio of iconic buildings in
this part of the town, the others being the Abbey
and the Town Hall. The huge atrium space formerly
housed the engines from which drive was taken
to work the equipment on each of the four floors.

Paisley Threadmill Museum
(Mile End Mill, 12 Seedhill Road)
Open 10.00 – 16.00
(1899, W J Morley of Bradford for J & P coats)
‘A’ listed. Six tall floors high in red brick, 18 bays long,
with stair towers topped with landmark copper roofed
lanterns. The building now functions as a business
centre. An area of the ground floor has been provided
rent free for the development of a museum devoted
to the thread industry of Paisley and is run by volunteers.

John Neilson Institute
(Oakshaw Street West)
Open 10.00 – 16.00
(Charles Wilson 1849 – 52)
Wilson’s astonishing addition to Paisley’s skyline is a
fabulous distortion of antique classical forms known to
locals as the ‘Porridge Bowl’. Originally a school financed
by a local grocer, it is now converted to flats. The central atrium,
with statue of Diogenes by Alexander Stoddart, will be open.

Mill Bridge
(off Lonend)
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 Planning and Transport Services,
Morrison’s PLC and Historic Scotland contributed £590,000 to
its restoration by Heritage Engineering.

Paisley Arts Centre
(New Street)
Open 10.00 – 15.00
(James Baird and John Hart 1736 – 38)
Built by the Town Council as the first, post reformation
church in the town and converted by the Council’s
architects to an Arts Centre in 1987. The café will be
open for teas, coffees, cakes, snacks and lunches.

Paisley Museum
& Art Galleries
(High Street)
Open Saturday 10.00 – 16.00 &
Sunday 14.00 – 17.00
(John Honeyman 1868 & 1881;
Honeyman Keppie & Mackintosh
1902; T G Abercrombie, 1915)
Uplifting Neo Classical palace of the visual arts. For disabled
access please ring first to arrange visit and parking
(0141 889 3151). No disabled access to Art Galleries.

Paisley Central Library
(68 High Street)
Open 9.00 – 17.00
(Reference Library 1868 by John Honeyman. Lending
and children’s libraries 1904 by Honeyman, Keppie and
Mackintosh, altered and extended in 1933 by Keppie &
Henderson. Charles Rennie Mackintosh designed the
lending libraries in 1902)
Displays and children’s activities.

Coats Observatory
(Oakshaw Street West)
Access through Paisley Museum (High Street)
by guided tours only – 11.30, 12.15, 14.30 & 15.15
(John Honeyman 1883)
For health & safety reasons the building is
limited to 50 people at a time. A ramp links a
sequence of perfect classical rooms stacked in
the four storey tower. Solar telescope viewing
(weather permitting) and Alexander Stoddart’s
bust of Newton and painted glass windows
depicting astronomers. Coats Observatory is one
of only two of its kind in Scotland, open all year
round to the public.

St Matthew’s Church
of the Nazarene
(Gordon Street)
Open 11.00 – 15.00
Tea Room open 11.00 – 14.00
(W D McLennan, 1906)
The finest work of Paisley’s own Art Nouveau
architect, the church vies with Mackintosh’s earlier
Queen’s Cross Church for the title of the most art
nouveau church in Scotland. Majestic Great War
memorial window in choir, by Robert Anning Bell.
Guides available.
The Bull Inn
(New Street)
Open Saturday 11.00 – 01.00,
Sunday 12.30 – 23.45
(W D McLennan 1900 – 01)
Rare Art Nouveau pub with dark joinery,
stained glass, cosy snugs around beautiful
top lit rear lobby. A ten flat tenement towers
above like an Arthur Rackham fantasy. Bring
your Doors Open Day programme and get a
25% discount on food on Saturday 10th.

Paisley Masonic Temple
(68 Maxwellton Road)
Open 10.00 – 16.00
(Probably by Woodhouse and Morely of Bradford, 1886)
Built as the managers and 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 W D McLennan for Lodge 370, of
which he was a member.

New Jerusalum Church
(17 George Street)
Open 11.00 – 15.00
Toddler Clubs.
Swedenborgian Film.
Oakshaw Trinity Church
(Oakshaw Street east)
Open 10.00 – 16.00
(John White 1754, steeple 1770, interior
renovated 1877 by Rennison & Scott)
1899 Hill organ newly restored. Seven notable
stained glass windows — two by Oscar Paterson
c 1918, two by Alec Walker c1909 and 1921,
Gordon Webster, 1951, Sadie McLellan, 1973,
and John Clark, 1996. Stunning plaster ceiling.
Music & tours available.
St James Church of Scotland
(Underwood Road)
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 plain interior helped to win Blanc the
commission for the Coats Memorial Church. Stained
glass throughout the church mostly by A Ballantine &
Gardiner. Organ music in the afternoon.

Sma’ Shot Cottage
(11/17 George Place, 14 Shuttle Street)
Open 10.00 – 16.00
(Weavers’ & artisans’ houses, 18th & 19th century)
Headquarters of the energetic Old Paisley Society which
has restored these cottages as a museum. Restored
Victorian interiors typical of Paisley’s historic 19th
century development. Costumed guides and tours of the
complex. Tearoom provides light lunches. (Wheelchair
access to lower floors only).

Ralston Community Sports Centre
& football ground
(Penilee Road)
Open 09.00 – 17.00
Built around 1930 this is a delightful Art Deco
building in the style of Thomas Tait which has in the
last two years been refurbished into a community
sports centre, housing a dance studio, state of the
art gym and changing facilities for the synthetic
football pitches which are adjacent. Its authentic
balcony, downstairs reception foyer and gorgeous
outdoor balcony make it an ideal function space
for weddings, christenings and parties as well as
being an attractive hub for the whole community.

Lapwing Lodge
(Gleniffer Road)
Open 10.00 – 17.00
Built in 1910, Lapwing Lodge officially opened in 1911
as ‘Peesweep Fresh Air House’, built by J & P Coats for the
treatment of their mill workers suffering with TB. It closed
as a hospital in the late 1950s and was taken on by the
Scout Association in the 1980s. Now an Outdoor Activity
Centre for youth groups and charities across Scotland
and internationally. Activities include: High Ropes Course;
Archery; Orienteering; Pioneering; Scouting Skills and
Demonstrations. Tea/coffee and tuck shop available.

Martyrs’ Parish Church
(40 Broomlands Street)
Open 10.00 – 16.00
There are many different architectural features which
reflect the many churches that came together to build
it. The building is now the headquarters for the 7th
Paisley (JNI) Scout Group. Activities include a climbing
wall, handcrafts, bouncy castle and face painting.

Wasps Artists Studios
(32a,b,c Broomlands Street)
Open 10.00 – 16.00
Scotland’s largest arts organisation providing workspace
for 732 artists across Scotland and operating Broomlands
Street Studios for 20 years. Artists Caroline Watson, Karen
Bruce and Iain Robertson open up their studios with three
distinct exhibitions and interesting workshops for all ages
throughout the day. Drawing, ceramics and stencil art.

Tannahills Cottage
(Queen Street)
Open 10.00 – 16.00
This cottage was built in 1775 by the father of
Paisley poet Robert Tannahill who lived here
most of his life (1774 – 1810).
Home of the Paisley Burns Club, one of the two
oldest Burns clubs in the world. Reopened after
a fire in 2003 with a new display of Burns and
Tannahill memorabilia.
Wallneuk North Church
(Abercorn Street)
Open 11.00 – 16.00
(T G Abercrombie 1913 – 15)
Hailed as the triumph of stylish Paisley
architect Thomas Graham Abercrombie,
this perpendicular Gothic creation is one
of the most powerful compositions to be
found in Paisley.

Holy Trinity &
St Barnabas Church
(Moss Street/St James Street)
Open 10.00 – 16.00
(1833, Choir added 1883)
Behind thin Gothic facade, discover the richly
decorated choir with stained glass window of Christ
in Glory given by Harveys of Castle Semple, 1883.
In contrast, with startling colours, the new west
window portrays times of day, the seasons, and
places connected to the lives commemorated by
Colin Stevenson. Vestment Exhibition.
Paisley Martyrs’ Sandyford Church
(Broomlands Street)
Open 10.00 – 15.00
(1847) Sturdy neo-Norman front and tower and
interior changes by T G Abercrombie, 1904
The union of the Martyrs and Sandyford Churches
was formalised in November 2009 with the new
named church maintaining a presence both at
Broomlands Street and Montgomery Road, with
the Broomlands church being the one open on
Doors Open Day. Organ music at intervals during
the day and light refreshments.

Sheriff Court
(St James Street)
Open 10.00 – 16.00
(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 by John Rhind. Note also bust
by James Fillans, frieze behind raised portico
outside by FW Pomeroy. Refurbished and greatly
extended to rear 1997. Conducted tours of the
main courts and cell area.

Renfrewshire House
(Cotton Street)
Customer Services Centre & Council Chambers open
10.00 – 14.00
Renfrewshire House is Renfrewshire Council’s
Headquarters building which, in addition to its refurbished
open plan offices, features a new Customer Services
Centre, Marriage Suite and Council Chamber. Its focal point
is the new Chamber which is suspended over the public
service desks and is elliptical to embody the principles of
equality and inclusive debate in local democracy.

Thomas Coats Memorial Baptist Church
(High Street)
Open 11.00 – 16.00
(Hippolyte G Blanc 1894)
The ‘Baptist Cathedral of Europe’; a Gothic church
of great presence and drama, terminating the view
along the High Street. Interior of serious opulence in
excellent preservation rich in sculptures in oak, bronze
and marble. Delightful Victorian vestry with restored
stencilling and toilet. Some decorative glass. Tower trips
till 15.30, weather permitting. Last admission 15.45.
Paisley Photographic Society
(55 Oakshaw Street West)
Open 10.00 – 16.00
Exhibition of members’ photography and
tours of the premises.
Brediland Allotment
(Cardell Drive, Foxbar)
Open 12.00 – 16.00
There has been a massive revival of interest in people
wanting to grow their own fruit and vegetables in
recent years. As a result, Renfrewshire is starting to
see the development of a number of innovative
community led projects to allow people to start
growing their own fresh produce.
Today’s visit is therefore an opportunity to learn more
about the secret world of allotment gardening. Pick up
some tips on gardening which you might apply in your
own garden, or even gain inspiration to start a community
gardening project in your own neighbourhood.
Home baking and beverages. Guides available.

Paisley Community Fire Station
(Canal Street)
Open 10.00 – 14.00
Fire charity stalls will be in the back yard of the station
along with some old fire engines, depicting how Fire Service
appliances have developed over the years. Fire displays.


saturday 10th september 2011

Open 09.00 – midnight
Tours at 12.00, 13.00, 14.00 & 15.00 (meeting
point at Centre Mall Atrium where majority of
restaurants are located)
(built 2006)
To celebrate Xscape’s 5th birthday and having had
over 14 million visitors since opening, a special
behind the scenes look at Scotland’s Ultimate
Entertainment Destination will be taking place.
Participating in Doors Open Day for only the
second time, this gives visitors the chance to have
a unique insight into Xscape Braehead’s behind the
scenes operation including some unique views
and how they make the snow, even in the height of
the summer heat.
Renfrew Old Parish Church
(26 High Street)
Open 10.00 – 13.00
(John Rochead 1862)
Lancet Gothic with beautiful broach spire. Chancel altered
1908 by P MacGregor Chalmers. Inside two late medieval tombs.
19th early & late 20th Century stained glass. Large selection of
19th, early 20th and late 20th Century stained glass windows,
including one ‘By the River of Babylon’, by Alexander Walker,
1896. This is the third church built on this site.
Renfrew Community Cuseum
(41 Canal Street)
Open 10.00 – 17.00
(closed for lunch 13.00 – 14.00)
Early French Renaissance with Art Nouveau
cupola, gift from Andrew Brown, three times
Provost of Renfrew. Left of entry was a library,
now local history museum; right was a shop and
upstairs a reading room and panelled billiard
room with great oriel window. Digital updates of
restoration works of Renfrew Town Hall and plans
for a new Community Museum.
Trinity Church
(3 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
idiosyncrasy, 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. Banner display.
India of Inchinnan
(Greenock Road, A8)
Open 10.00 – 17.00
(Wallis, Gilbert & Ptnrs 1929 – 30, rear block
by Gordon Gibb, 2001)
Art Deco office block to former tyre factory,
wings added 1956, restored and new futuristic
block added for Graham Technology plc.
Guided tours. Café and Restaurant open.
Inchinnan Parish Church
(Old Greenock Road)
Open 10.00 – 16.00
(Miller and Black, 1966)
A veritable gallery of fine art salvaged from All
Hallows’ Church (1899-1904), mostly given by the
Campbells of Blythswood. Great sanctuary window
by Charles Kemp; five fine windows by another
hand with unusual use of perspective; Rose window
of angels in glorious rainbow hues around mystic
symbols of God. See also window in session house.
Exhibition about the church and local history. Tours
to All Hallows Graveyard, site of the former church
demolished to make way for the Airport in 1965.

Saturday 10th September 2011

The Formakin Estate
(Houston Road)
Tours at 11.00 and 14.00
Maximum twenty on each tour.

Saturday 10th September 2011

Gledstane Park
(Gledstane Road)
Open 10.00 – 16.00
Square Scottish villa with granite causs
facing and honey stone mullions. Home
of John McLaughlin, the Govan Chair
Man. See John’s fascinating collection of
quirky hand carved chairs.


Lamont Farm
(Barhill Road)
Open 10.30 and 16.30
Farm tours provided and a children’s quiz.
Renfrew Community Fire Station
(Paisley Road)
Open 10.00 – 16.00
(1965, Boswell Mitchell & Johnston)
The station serves the town of Renfrew, the
villages of Inchinnan and Bishopton, and part
of Erskine. The station currently has one fire
appliance and houses additional equipment
such as an Environmental Pod, Decontamination
Flood and Response Unit. Chip pan fire and
Road Traffic Collision demonstrations.

Sunday 11th September 2011

Johnstone Fire Station
(Kings Road)
Open 11.00 – 16.00
Display of vintage appliances and
chip pan fire demonstrations.
The Ballast Trust
(The Monarch Works, 18-20 Walkinshaw Street)
Open 10.00 – 16.00
The Ballast Trust is a charitable foundation that provides a
résumé, sorting and cataloguing service for business archives.
They specialise in technical plans/drawings and photos of
ship building, engineering and railway companies. There will
be displays of their work, giving visitors the chance to find
out about archives and technical drawings.
St John’s Episcopal Church
(Floors Street)
Open 12.00 – 16.00
(David Thomson, 1874 and 1878)
Simple early pointed Gothic exterior, interior rich
with colourful mosaic reredos and fine stained glass.
Vestments on display.

Sunday 11th September 2011

Johnstone Castle
(Tower Road)
Open 10.30 – 16.00
(late 15th/early 16thC, altered 1771, N tower
altered & raised 1812)
Seat of the lairds of Johnstone from 1733,
hugely extended in 1812, here Frederick Chopin was
a bored guest in 1848. After use as HQ of a prisoner of
war camp, it was shorn of the castellated wings in
1956, and left empty. New owners are now bravely
restoring this much knocked about tower house to be
their home. Children must be
accompanied by an adult.

Johnstone History Museum
(30b Napier Street)
Open 10.00 – 16.00
(or within Morrison’s Supermarket)
Entrance at Napier Street or
through covered walkway at
Collier Street.
Established and run by the Johnstone
History Society, funded by Heritage
Lottery and hosted by Morrison’s
plc, this new museum of the town’s
history opened in April 2009. The
museum contains archival material
from two of the town’s best known
firms — Wm. Paton Ltd and Clifton
and Baird as well as other valuable
material relating to other aspects
of the town’s heritage. The Café
in the supermarket is open all
day. Guided walks from 2pm
start from the History Museum.
Children’s passport competition
with prizes.
Johnstone High Parish Church
(Ludovic Square)
Open 10.00 – 16.00
Morning worship 11.00 – 12.00
On the axis of Church Street, elongated
octagon with octagonal tower and needle
spire added 1823. William Lang of Paisley.
Session house 1824. Thoroughly Scots kirk
interior remodelled by David Thomson 1875.
Stained glass windows by Sadie McLennan.
Elderslie Kirk
(284 Main Road)
Open 13.00 – 16.00
(1840, 1885 – 86)
Sturdy grey stone Gothic kirk with belfried
gable front. Set of four stained glass windows
‘God’s Gifts to the Universe’ by Leslie McPhee,
1990, installed to mark the church’s 150th
anniversary. Flowing abstract forms, with blues
and whites. Refurbished in the 1950s, the
church has light coloured African hardwood
pews which give a brightness to the sanctuary.
Children’s activities including a Treasure Hunt.

Sunday 11th September 2011

Kilbarchan East Church
(Steeple Square)
Open 12.00 – 16.00
(James Brown, 1787 – 89, based on 1781 Castlehead
Church Paisley, interior altered 1872 – 3 by Robert Baldie).
Two stained glass windows, 1902, marking 60 year
ministry of Rev George Alison.
Kilbarchan West Parish Church
(Church Street)
Open 12.00 – 16.00
(Wiliam H Howie, 1899 – 1901)
Spacious Gothic interior. See six glass
windows by various artists, four Edwardian
and one by James Wright (d. 1947). Tours,
organ music and exhibition.

Sunday 11th September 2011

Houston and Killellan Kirk
(Kirk Road)
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 children. Refreshments and
home baking. No wheelchair accessible toilet.
Old Kilallan Parish Church
Corsliehill Road, nr. Kilallan Road,
2 miles west of Houston
Guided Tour (ask at Houston &
Kilellan Parish Church)
Remote ruin of 1635 church with
early gravestones.
Howwood Parish Church
Beith Boad
open 13.00 – 16.00
(Nave 1858, choir and trancepts 1880s,
hall 1911 and 1996)
Modest Gothic church but with splendid
stained glass, memorialising the laird and the
mill owners. The two west side windows, 1858,
gifted by the Harveys of Castle Semple, the
main window for ‘a delightful daughter’ who
died in 1871, bears her initials and perhaps
her portrait among the children coming to
Christ, recently restored. The windows to the
east, 1880s by W & JJ Kerr of Glasgow, to the
north and south, 1900’s by James Benson,
commemorate three generations of McNabs.

Sunday 11th September 2011

Castle Semple Visitor Centre
(Lochlip Road)
Open 10.00 – 16.00
Tower Tours: visit the top of the Castle
Semple Visitor Centre Tower and admire
the views over Castle Semple Loch.

Sunday 11th September 2011

Lochwinnoch Parish Church
(Church Street)
Open 13.00 – 16.00
(Andrew of Kilbarchan 1806 – 08)
Elongated octagonal plan behind high
Doric porch below classical belfry, clock
and spire. Stained glass here and in
Gothic church hall behind (1901).
Other Doors Open Days
Highland: Inverness & Nairn
(Saturday only)
East Renfrewshire
(Saturday only)
Fife: East and St Andrews
(Sunday only)
10 and 11 SEPTEMBER
Aberdeen City (Saturday only)
Angus — Hospitalfield House
only, see Weekend 3 for other
Angus sites
East Dunbartonshire
(Saturday only)
East Lothian (Sunday only)
Fife: Central and Kirkcaldy
(Sunday only)
Highland: Easter Ross & Black
Isle (Saturday only)
Midlothian (Saturday only)
North Lanarkshire
South Lanarkshire
West Lothian (Saturday only)
Western Isles/Comhairle nan
Eilean Siar (Saturday only)
17 and 18 SEPTEMBER
Aberdeenshire (Saturday only)
Fife: West and Dunfermline
(Sunday only)
Highland: Caithness &
Sutherland (Saturday only)
Loch Lomond and the
Trossachs National Park
Scottish Borders
(Saturday only) Eyemouth and
the coast, including St Abbs
and Coldingham
West Dunbartonshire
(Saturday only)
24 and 25 SEPTEMBER
Highland: Skye, Lochaber &
Wester Ross (Saturday only)
Kintyre, Argyll and Bute
Perth and Kinross
Doors Open Day would not be possible without the
wholehearted co-operation, enthusiasm and assistance of the
building owners and users themselves.
Please remember that visitors entering the buildings do so
at their own risk; neither the organisers, the sponsors nor
participating building owners are responsible for any accidents
or damages incurred.
Photography by Anne Dick, Jim Hermit and Renfrewshire Council.
Published by Renfrewshire Council.




You can also download the schedule of events by clicking here.


Founder of Paisley.org.uk in 1998 and constantly strives to change peoples attitudes to the town, Brian is a self described Paisley Digital Champion who promotes Paisley via any means necessary. You can also follow me on X