Principal Town: Paisley
Population (1991):
Area (hectares): 26250
Entry Updated: 09-AUG-2009
Local Authority Contact Information

Address: Renfrewshire Council
Robertson Centre
16 Glasgow Road
Covering a territory of 261 sq. km (101 sq. miles), Renfrewshire is bounded by the Firth of Clyde to the north, by East Renfrewshire to the south, by Inverclyde to the west, by North Ayrshire to the southwest, and by the City of Glasgow to the east. Its main towns include Paisley, the administrative centre, Johnstone and Barrhead, and it possesses a large rural hinterland with smaller settlements such as Kilbarchan, Bridge of Weir and Lochwinnoch. In the early 20th century coal, fire-clay and oil shale were worked in the Linwood area west of Paisley.

There are several lochs including Castle Semple Loch, Barr Loch, Kilbirnie Loch and Whitliemuir Loch (a reservoir), while the main rivers include the Calder, the Gryfe, Black Cart Water, White Cart Water, and Locher Water. The highest point is Misty Law (507 m / 1663 feet) on its border with North Ayrshire, and its territory includes much of the Clyde-Muirshiel Country Park.

Renfrewshire is the ninth smallest council area in size, the ninth largest in population and the sixth highest in density, with 54 per cent of its land used for agriculture, most of which is grassland and peatland. About one sixth of its territory is developed, primarily for urban use.

Renfrewshire was created in 1996 as part of the Local Government reorganisation. Its area is the same as the earlier Renfrew District Council (part of the pre-1996 Strathclyde Region) which was itself created in 1975 from the old Renfrewshire County.
Renfrewshire has a diverse economy which has benefited from the presence of Glasgow International Airport. One of the main employers has been Royal Ordnance (at Bishopton), producing munitions.

Tourism is developing with the most popular attractions in Paisley (the Abbey, Town Hall, Coats Observatory, Museum and Art Gallery, and the Sma' Shot Cottages), Kilbarchan (Weavers Cottage), and Lochwinnoch (Castle Semple Country Park). Other country parks include Clyde-Muirshiel, Gleniffer Braes and Formakin.

References and Further Reading
Alexander, Derek (ed.) (1996) Prehistoric Renfrewshire. Papers in honour of Frank Newall. Renfrewshire Local History Forum, Edinburgh
Bluck, B.J. (ed.) (1973) Excursion Guide to the Geology of the Glasgow District. Geological Society of Glasgow
Moisley, H.A. and A.G. Thain (eds.) (1975) The County of Renfrew, The Third Statistical Account of Scotland. vol. XI
Robertson, George and George Crawford (1818) A General Description of the Shire of Renfrew. Paisley
Stevenson, Jack (1995) Exploring Scotland's Heritage: Glasgow, Clydeside and Stirling. Second Edition, The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland and HMSO, Edinburgh
Walker, Frank Arneil (1986) South Clyde Estuary: An Illustrated Architectural Guide to Inverclyde and Renfrew. Scottish Academic Press and the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland, Edinburgh

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