"PAISLEY. The town stands on the White Cart, 6¾ miles west of Glasgow; covers the site of the Roman station Vanduara, with commencement of iter thence to Antoninus' Wall; sprang from an abbey founded in 1163 by the High Steward of Scotland; was originally a village for use of the abbey's retainers. all situated on the Cart's right bank, and now represented by Seedhill suburb; spread thence to the left bank, and gradually extended there into large town and new suburbs; stands partly there on a gentle hill-ridge, but everywhere else on low ground; enjoys charming environs, with rich immediate scenery, and exquisite, extensive, panoramic views; ranks as the political capital of upper ward of Renfrewshire, a burgh sending a member to Parliament, and a great seat of textile manufacture; measures nearly 2 miles in length, and fully 1½ mile in breadth; exhibits an urban centre and almost rural outskirts, compact and straggling sections, regular and irregular thoroughfares and intermixtures of old and new; is traversed from side to side by a high railway viaduct overlooking much of its interior; was designed in 1877 to undergo material improvement by widening and otherwise altering narrow streets; contains a number of imposing public edifices; publishes a daily newspaper and three weekly newspapers; has a head post office, with all departments, 2 sub post offices, with money order department, a central railway station on expansion of the high viaduct, 7 banking offices, 4 hotels, a beautiful public park of about 22 acres opened in May 1877, 8 Established churches, 7 Free churches, 6 United Presbyterian churches, 12 churches of other denominations, an endowed educational institution, a grammar school or academy, 10 primary public schools, a number of other schools, and a free public library and museum; and is notable for the great number of distinguished natives who have emerged from it into almost every part of the field of fame. The County Buildings were erected in 1818-22 at a cost of £28,000, and enlarged about 1860 at a cost of £10,000. The New Town Hall was erected in 1879-82 at a cost of between £80,000 and £100,000, and has a large tower and an imposing aspect. The waterworks have extensive reservoirs of 1837 among Glenifer braes, acquired a large new one in 1879-80, and were to be enlarged in and after 1881 at an estimated cost of £100,000. The Abbey church was burnt by the English in 1307, was rebuilt in portions till about middle of 15th century, survives in main parts of much architectural and monumental interest, has been used in its nave as a parochial church since the Reformation, and was deisgned in 1882 to undergo renovation. The High Established church stands conspicuously on the hill-ridge, and has a loft steeple. The High Free church is in the Norman style, and has a massive tower. The Underwood Road United Presbyterian church was erected in 1881, and is a steepled cruciform edifice. The endowned educational institution, like the High Established church, figures conspicuously on the hill-ridge, and is a large edifice in form of a Greek cross surmounted by a dome. The free public library and museum was erected in 1869-71, at a cost of £15,000. The Good Templars' halls were built in 1880 at a cost of about £6500. The new cemetery comprises 23 acres of high undulated ground, is richly embellished, and contains a number of interesting monuments. Real property of the burgh in 1880-81. £206,334. Pop. 55,627."
[From The Gazetteer of Scotland, by Rev. John Wilson, 1882.]