5 Fun Historical Outings Around Renfrewshire | Home Instead

There are plenty of hidden gems in Renfrewshire that are great for all ages - take a trip into the past with these unique historical outings.

Experience a taste of the colourful past of Renfewshire by visiting these unique historical attractions.

Many older adults enjoy taking a walk down memory lane, and what better way to do so than by visiting some of our area’s wonderful historical points of interest. From Paisley and Erskine to Johnstone and Kilbarchan, Renfrewshire is full of amazing historical places that will bring back wonderful memories for many of your older loved ones. Why not take a trip out and about to discover all that Renfrewshire has to offer.

Johnstone History Museum

Located in a most unusual place at the right-side entrance to Morrisons supermarket in Johnstone, accessed from the bridge over the Black Cart River from Collier Street, this wonderful little local museum has many delights to discover.

Offering details of the Houston family’s connection with the Renfrewshire town of Johnstone, the Johnstone canal, the Johnstone coal mines and the town’s engineering companies and history, this really is a treasure trove of local history and artefacts.

Here you can find information on Johnstone’s involvement in World War I, it’s cotton spinning industry in 1782, and the story of Paton’s Mill.

Established by the Johnstone Historical society and run by a volunteer staff, the Johnstone History Museum is open every Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 10.30am-4.00pm. Visit today to discover the secrets of this Renfrewshire town, which was built on textiles, tools, and twine.

Paisley Thread Mill

Founded in 2003 to tell the story of Clark and Coats Thread Mills of Paisley from 1722 to 1993, this fabulous little visitor attraction offers many delights. The Paisley Thread Mill boasts 15 display cases full of local artefacts from the Thread Mills, as well as interactive digital image and video archives.

Guaranteed to delight and inform, you can visit this Paisley museum between 12.00-4.00pm on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons all year round.

A wonderful collection of artefacts, photos, thread samples, machinery, patterns and much more, a visit here is sure to jog the memory of any long-time resident of Paisley and the surrounding areas.

You can also find information on the Paisley pattern, which originated here in Paisley and is now beloved the world across, from Queen Victoria to the Beatles.

Found at Mile End Mill on Seedhill Road, this delightful mill is well worth a visit.

Coats Memorial Hall

A dominant feature of the Paisley skyline for over 100 years, this incredible category A listed building on Paisley High Street is crowned with a magnificent steeple, rising to 60 feet tall.

Constructed between 1885-1894 and designed by architect Hippolyte Jean Blanc, Coats Memorial Hall was commissioned by the family of the late Thomas Coats in his memory after his death in 1883. Thomas Coats was the famous founder of the JP Coats company, a philanthropist and devout member of the Baptist Church. He was involved in the restoration of Paisley Abbey, the construction of the Coats Observatory and the Paisley Fountain Gardens.

Visit this breathtaking Paisley landmark for a real taste of the town’s rich history and architecture.

Mar Hall Hotel and ERSKINE Estates

Now a luxurious 5-star hotel in Bishopton, Mar Hall comes from a unique history as a stately home and a hospital for servicemen during the First World War. The history of this beautiful Renfrewshire building is closely entwined with that of neighbouring Erskine Hospital, which once used the building themselves before it was sold for renovation.

Formerly known as Erskine House, this glorious building, designed by Sir Robert Smirke, was constructed between 1828-1845. Commissioned by the 11thLord Blantyre, who died just 2 years after construction began, the building was never lived in as the stately home it was intended. It fell into disrepair until it was later renovated and opened as the Princess Louise Scottish Hospital for Limbless Sailors and Soldiers in 1916, when it was used to treat the soldiers and sailors of WWI. The nearby Blantyre Monument commemorates the original owner of Erskine House.

The Princess Louise Hospital then went on to become Erskine Hospital and later ERSKINE, which is now located on a beautiful estate just next door and has gone on to offer help to British veterans of every subsequent warERSKINE has become the biggest veteran’s facility in the country and cares for veterans all across Scotland’s central belt.

The hospital also collaborated with surgeon Sir William MacEwen and the Yarrow Shipbuilders in a unique partnership, forged to tackle the issue of servicemen coming home from the war with missing limbs, and going on to create a new kind of artificial limb which was named the Erskine Artificial Limb.

Harry’s Whether you’re looking forward to a peaceful walk around the glorious Mar Estates and ERSKINE hospital grounds in Bishopton, or hoping to stop in for an opulent Afternoon Tea, Mar Hall and ERSKINE are well worth a visit.

Weavers Cottage, Kilbarchan

Last but not least, make sure to consider a trip to Weaver’s Cottage in Kilbarchan. Described by the National Trust of Scotland as an ‘atmospheric cottage and hands on museum where the traditional weaver’s craft comes to life,’ you won’t regret stopping by for a visit.

Located in the idyllic Renfrewshire town of Kilbarchan, this traditional cottage brings to life the living and working conditions of a Kilbarchan weaver in the 1720s. Step inside and step back in time to truly experience this delightful piece of local history.

Joined by the deeply knowledgeable guides, you can explore an original 200-year-old loom where tartan is woven, and even try your hand at some weaving yourself.

Don’t forget to spend some time in the idyllic cottage garden to see the beautiful traditional plants used for dye making too.

Find out more about supported living in this area and how we can help you or your loved ones to get out and about in Renfrewshire.
Contact us today to discover if Home Instead Renfrewshire and Barrhead could be right for your loved ones.

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