Town Hall, Renfrew
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Town Hall, Renfrew

The former county town of the old county of Renfrewshire, located 3 miles (5 km) northeast of Paisley and 5 miles (8 km) west of Glasgow. In the 12th Century Renfrew was created a burgh (a royal burgh in 1396) and Renfrew Castle and its lands were granted to Walter Fitz Alan, the first High Steward of Scotland. There are few remains of the castle and the 19th century parish church includes some 15th century effigies. Former industries include shipbuilding, steel, and engineering; the Hillington Industrial Estate (1938) was the first created in Scotland. Today the town is contiguous with Paisley, divided only by the M8 Motorway.

The Neo-Gothic Town Hall (c.1871) has a clock-tower 32m (105 feet) high. Born in Renfrew were the poet Andrew Park (1807), swimmer Ellen King (1909) and trade-union leader Jimmy Airlie (1936). Notable residents have included theologian William Barclay (1907-78). To the south of Renfrew lies the M8 motorway, to the north the River Clyde, and to the west Glasgow Airport and the White Cart Water which flows north into the Clyde. The Renfrew - Yoker passenger ferry has crossed the Clyde for more than 500 years, making it the oldest in Scotland still running.

The former Renfrew Airport at Newmains began as Moorpark Aerodrome in 1910 and became a military airstrip during the First World War. Said to represent Scotland's first municipal airport, it handled its first scheduled civilian flights in 1933 but closed in 1966 when it was clear it would be unable to cope with demand and had little room for expansion. Operations transferred to the nearby Glasgow Airport.

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