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Paisley Abbey Wall

Wall (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Paisley Abbey Wall

Classification Wall (Period Unassigned)

Canmore ID 43142

Site Number NS46SE 2.03

NGR NS 485 638

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Renfrewshire
  • Parish Paisley (Renfrew)
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Renfrew
  • Former County Renfrewshire

Archaeology Notes

NS46SE 2.3 485 638.

Paisley Abbey with its extensive orchards and gardens, and a small park for fallow deer, was formerly surrounded by a wall of dressed stone. It extended from the N transept of the Abbey northwards along the Fisher-row, now Lawn Street, thence E along what is now Incle Street, S to Seedhill and the River Cart and then W along the river to a point about 100ft W of Abbey Bridge. At the NW angle, called the Waw Neuk, was a tablet bearing an inscription indicating that the wall was built in 1485 by George Shaw, abbot. This stone is in Paisley Museum, as is a shield bearing the Royal arms, taken from the N side of the wall. When in situ, this shield had one bearing the arms of the High Stewards on its right, and another, with the abbot's arms on the left. The wall was also ornamented with statues at frequent intervals. The main gateway, originally built by Abbot Tervas (1445-59) conisited of an arched passage, above which a tower was added by Abbot Shaw. It stood about 30ft NW of the NW turret of the Abbey; it was demolished in 1763, but its foundations were discovered during street alterations in 1874. The Abbey Park was feued off for building ground in 1781; up till then the wall had remained nearly entire but after that date most of its stones were used for building. Metcalfe (1909) notes that a few fragments of the wall may be seen on the N and S sides of the E end of the Abbey Bridge (NS 485 638).

A R Howell 1935; New Statistical Account (NSA) 1845.


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