Kilnside House
The Rest

cushion - click for larger version

Craigielinn House
 once stood near the top of the Gleniffer Braes in what was a 45 acre estate not far from Paisley Golf Course and Glenburn reservoir. Remains can be found today beside a style (through a fence) just below the tree line. The map below right  (click for larger version) is annotated with the place names that can be found at the bottom of this 1868 map. The house still appears in the 1947 map (left). It's easy to find by following a line of bushes (marked by a blue line) on the map that veers to the left straight down to the fence. The same line is still visible on Bing maps (right).

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The building was described as "a superior dwelling house with garden and ornamental grounds attached the property of Rev P Brewster and occupied by him". The configuration of the property is different in the 1947 and 1868 maps. The wall looks like part of the larger 1947 building.

Brewster was the renowned Paisley Abbey minister, crusading preacher, author and political radical Patrick Brewster who lived in the house until his death in 1859. In 1922, it was bought by Glasgow philanthropist George Carter Cossar as a training farm for destitute boys before emigration to Canada. More here.

cushion - click for larger version

That there is a style at the remaining wall may not be a coincidence. Either a modern replacement or put there to allow access to the ruin. The house is situated in a significant hollow created by a small stream and there is what appears to be a boundary wall at the other side of the fence (right)  which can be seen on the 1947 map.

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There is also what looks like a brick base a few yards from the wall (left). Witches Corner is on the right.

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The names Fairy KnoweFairy Fall (Geograph) and Witches Corner on the map were actually created by Brewster himself and he applied to Ordnance Survey to have them placed on maps as can be seen by following the link.

It's difficult to see through the foliage, but it looks like a steep gorge from Witches Corner down and easy to imagine that minus the deep undergrowth, this might have been a dramatic piece of (micro) scenery and why Brewster went to the trouble of naming and registering places that weren't even on his land. It was the property of a Mr Fulton owner of the 'The Glen' mansion. The nearby Gleniffer Gorge  made by the Gleniffer Burn is 50 feet deep in places.

They are all on the line of the Glen Burn which flows out of the Glenburn Reservoir . Further downstream are the spectacular Craigielinn falls. Here is an excellent video made with a drone flying from the beautiful top Linn dam up to the falls.

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St. Margaret's
at the top of Brodie Park was designed by architect John Hutchison and built in 1889 for businessman William Rowat.



St. Margaret's - click for larger version

His daughter Jessie Rowat was born in Paisley in 1864. At a time when the local textile industry was producing high fashion items, she was the daughter of a manufacturer of the fine Paisley shawls inspired by eastern designs. Educated in Paisley and Edinburgh, she went on to study textile design and stained glass at the Glasgow School of Art. From 1886, she taught enamel work and mosaics at the Glasgow School of Art, and introduced embroidery into the curriculum. In 1889, Rowat married the Director of the art school, the Devon-born artist, Francis (Fra) Newbery and was able to establish with his support a Department of Embroidery. As a result, embroidery came to be regarded as a mainstream form of art with close links to other media.

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Jessie Newbery from Rowand Pictorial History of Paisley- click for larger version

With the administrative separation of Glasgow School of Art from English control in 1899, the school had much greater control over its own work which helped encourage a strong, individual style.Fra Newbery was himself influential in encouraging the development of the Glasgow 'Four', Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Herbert MacNair and their wives, the Macdonald sisters, Margaret and Frances, but Jessie's work in breaking down the barriers between traditional 'art' and 'crafts' was especially important in promoting the new movement.

The latter was able to break away from the common perception that it involved little more than laborious execution and it became recognised that it had practitioners of merit and innovative design in its own right. Jessie became a friend to Mackintosh and his wife.

St. Margaret's is recorded at rcahms as St Margaret's Hospital. It is said to have been a maternity facility, presumably an annexe of the RAI.

Peter Brough Home for Nurses -

Peter Brough Home for Nurses - click for larger version
This was the home of Peter Brough, a wealthy businesman who left the house for the benefit of the many nurses in the Town. It is in Oakshaw Street. He was also a benefactor to the Orr Square church and built the church hall. He supported district nursing in Paisley . He endowed a nursing service which is known to have functioned from 1892 at least until 1925. When Peter Brough died in July 1883 he was one of the wealthiest men in Paisley and the effect of his wealth continues today with an active charity in his name that focuses on what is now Paisley University. Read his life history

Greenlaw House map
Built in 1774, the house is in Mansionhouse Road and has now been converted to flats.It once belonged to Robert Corse a wealthy Paisley businessman.

Greenlaw House  - click for larger version

He was a representative of the old family of Cross or Corse of Crossmill in Renfrewshire. He was in partnership with John Christie, under the firm of Christie, Corse & Co. His sister married Mr. Kibble of Whiteford, near Paisley, and her family succeeded to Greenlaw, and were well-known calico printers in Glasgow. He was one of the nine original partners of the Paisley Banking Company which was established on1st October 1783. Read about it here.

Brediland House

Brediland House was the home of the Maxwells of Brediland, who had held lands in Renfrewshire from as early as 1487, and Brediland Estate since at least 1580. The family descend from the Maxwells of Pollok. In 1700 this house boasted ten feather beds, a going clock, a loom, and In the loft above seventeen loose floor boards! The family owned four horses, nine cows and one calf, and thirty sheep. Wealth indeed! The house was single storey rubble built, with swept attic dormers, crow stepped gables and thatched roof with a square stair tower, a possible later addition. The house was occupied until about 1960 and was eventually demolished in 1976. The location isn't known.

From a description of Abbey Parish - an estate, with a mansion, in Abbey parish, Renfrewshire, 1 mile SW of Paisley. A pottery, for the manufacture of coarse earthenware is on the estate.

This is the old farmhouse.

 Brediland House -  from Rowand Pictorial History of Paisley - click for larger version

The cottage was the oldest house in Paisley,  built 1704 and demolished in 1976


Brediland Cottage on RCHMS

This is the modern Brediland House in the 1950's. The photograph came from Ken Inspire, a student graduate with Babcock & Wilcox Ltd.who stayed there from June 1951 till July 1953. The estate stretched from Tantallon Drive to Greenways Avenue. The house was probably at the Greenways Avenue end on the hill. It was purchased and demolished by Leech Homes around 1983, not being a listed building.

 Brediland House  - click for larger version

Paisley Express article- click for larger versionDemolition  - click for larger version

Auchentorlie House

Auchentorlie House Aug 1935 - click for larger version - thanks to Priscilla Morris

In 1910, the Paisley Parish Council took over a large property known as Auchentorlie House on Seedhill Road (near Lacy Street) to the east of Paisley. The house was used as a children's home and for maternity cases and had a total capacity of 77 inmates. The buildings consisted of two floors, plus attics, and included dormitories for boys and girls, a day room and dining-hall for the children, a waiting room for maternity cases, an accouchement (delivery) room, probationary wards, bathrooms and lavatories, kitchens and outhouses, and staff quarters. The children's home was intended for to prevent children of good character from coming into contact with the ordinary inmates of the poorhouse. Neglected and under-fed children were sent to a separate children's home at Largs.

Auchentorlie House  1923 map - click for larger version

New Sneddon Street - Lowndes House

(thanks to Paisley Oor Wee Toon)

The home of Muslin manufacturers and merchants William and Charles Lowndes, this fine Georgian House (said to have been the finest 18th-century house in Paisley) later in 1875 became the offices for the adjoining coachworks of Lowrie & Clark. The business made both gentlemen's carriages and more utilitarian horse-drawn vehicles. It made the transition to the motor car, and was still used for motor repairing in 1967. Until the works was badly damaged by fire in the 1970s, the owners retained drawings and other records of horse-drawn vehicles, including gentlemen's carriages, built in the early days.

Lowndes House is now converted into an Indian Restaurant, The Koo-I-Noor

Sma Shot Cottages

Not exactly mansions but well worth a visit.

Sma Shot Cottages

Has its own website here.

The Drill Hall


drill hall.

The Drill Hall, also known as the Territorial Army building at 76 High Street was designed by architect Thomas Graham Abercrombie assisted by William Kerr and built between 1896 and 1899. It was paid for by public subscription. Abercrombie also built the YMCA building in New Street in 1908 and the Wallneuk Church.

It's obviously not a mansion but is included to increase awareness of its delapidated state as it awaits renovation to flats by its private owners. There has been vandalism and a serious fire in December 1998. It is a 'B' listed building.

Some useful links

Old Paisley photographs

Dummy Railway photographs

Slideshows of old Paisley pictures



Paisley Express

Paisley Thread Mill Museum

Old Paisley maps

Sma' Shot Cottage

David Rowand's books

Renfrewshire Council History

Tannahill's cottage

Renfrewshire Family History Society

Paisley- a historical perspective

Saucel Distillery



Dictionary of Scottish Architects

Scottish Screen Archive