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Paisley Abbey

Paisley Abbey

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Published by corinne mills

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Published by: corinne mills on Mar 23, 2008
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06/16/2009

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Paisley Abbey
NS 486640 64The Abbey at Paisley has its beginnings in the Cluniac Priory founded by Walter Fitzalan, HighSteward to King David I of Scotland. A Prior and twelve monks travelled from Shropshire in1163, and six years later the first priory buildings were being erected on the chosen site besidethe River Cart, close to a major fording point and an existing mill. There was also a shrine to alocal saint by the name of Mirin (different spelling to the football team - St Mirren), so the sitewas already a place of pilgrimage. The priory was raised to the status of Abbey by PopeHonorius III in 1219, and even founded its own daughter monastery of Crossraguel in Ayrshirec1240.In 1307 the Abbey at Paisley was burnt down by English soldiers, meaning that we do not knowhow much of the original architecture remains from before that time. Repair work must havecontinued throughout the 14th century, and probably included the great main drain which ranunder all the major buildings of the monastery, before discharging into the River Cart. Onemaster mason for the work on the abbey has been identified as John Morrow of Paris, who is alsoknown to have worked at Glasgow, and Melrose where an inscription records his contribution.
 
 King Robert III died in Rothesay in 1406, after hearing the news that his son had been capturedby the English, and was subsequently buried in front of the High Altar at Paisley, continuingPaisley's royal connections.
 
 A dispute over the office of Abbot of Paisley, in the early years of the fifteenth century, led to a25 year battle which had, amongst its many other effects, the result of neglecting routinemaintenance of the buildings, and in particular the main drain was allowed to silt up. Withoutthis many of the wonderful archaeological finds would not have survived. After the dispute wasresolved, a succession of capable Abbots, in particular George Shaw, who was also tutor to thefuture James IV, allowed Paisley to return to its former strength.The Reformation in Scotland, brought about by Act of Parliament in August 1560, saw the landsof Paisley Abbey converted into a "temporal lordship", inherited by Claud Hamilton, nephew of the last Abbot. He was created Lord Paisley in 1594 and died at the Abbey in 1621. This meant

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