Paisley's thread industry was dominated by two families, the Clarks and the Coats. As their wealth grew they gave back to the town by funding some of the most spectacular of Paisley's buildings, including the Town Hall, Museum and Library, Coats Memorial Church and the Coats Observatory.
The Town Hall stands proudly in the centre of Paisley across from the Abbey. Built in the 19th century and funded through the will of George A. Clark , it stands as a testament to the wealth that the thread industry brought to the town.
The Museum & Art Gallery houses a priceless collection of Paisley Shawls as well as a highly regarded collection of contemporary art.
The Central Library was joined on to the Museum & Art Galleries over 100 years ago. As well as the usual lending section, it also contains a reference section housing much of the history of Paisley
Coats Memorial Church provides one of the most dramatic pieces of gothic architecture in Paisley. Built in 1894 in memory of Thomas Coats one of the founders of J & P Coats. Still in use today as a church and also as part of Paisley University.
The Coats Observatory was gifted by Thomas Coats to the people of Paisley in the Ninteenth century. It is still in use today both as a meteorological centre and also for astronomical viewing of the night sky open to the general public each Thursday evening during the winter. It also contains many exhibits depicting the solar system and our place in the universe
Anchor Mill was built by the Clark family and is the last of the mills still standing in Paisley. Having lain empty for many years the Finishing Mill was re-opened by Prince Charles & Camilla combining business units and apartment dwellings.
Very little of the mill buildings have survived the ravages of time and town planners but now a small band of volunteers have formed the Paisley Thread Mill Museum based in the Mile End Mill in Seedhill. Open on a Wednesday and Saturday from noon till 4pm from April to September it is a must see for former mill workers and those interested in the history of Paisley. Visit the website at www.paisleythreadmill.co.uk