Abbey, Paisley, Renfrewshire
In 1849-50, the Parish of Abbey, at the southern side of Paisley, erected a poorhouse at the south side of what is now Craw Road. The buildings, constructed in stone in an Elizabethan style, comprised an entrance block fronting onto the road at the north, behind which stood the main building which had a double-courtyard plan. The location and layout of the poorhouse are shown on the 1897 map below.
In 1879, Mr M'Neil, a Visiting Officer from the Board of Supervision, reported that:
From 1895, the Abbey poorhouse took on the role of poorhouse for the whole of Paisley and became known as the Paisley poorhouse.
A 110-bed hospital was added at the east of the site in 1890, and an infirm section in 1912.
During the First World War, the site was used as a War Hospital.
In 1921, the poorhouse could accommodate 650 inmates.
In the 1930s and 1940s, the establishment continued to operate as a Poor Law Institution providing care for the chronic sick. After 1948, it became an annexe to the Royal Alexandra Infirmary.
The former Abbey poorhouse buildings no longer exist and the site is now occupied by a housing development.
In 1857, a Parochial Lunatic Asylum was erected on an adjacent site to the west of the poorhouse.
Note: many repositories impose a closure period of up to 100 years for records identifying individuals. Before travelling a long distance, always check that the records you want to consult will be available.
- Heritage Centre, Paisley Central Library, High Street, Paisley PA1 2BA. Most poor law records are surname indexed.
- Government and Social Conditions in Scotland 1845-1919 by Ian Levitt (1988, Scottish History Society)
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