Paisley is the largest town in the historic county of Renfrewshire in the west central Lowlands of Scotland and serves as the administrative centre for the Renfrewshire council area. The town is on the northern edge of the Gleniffer Braes, straddling the banks of the White Cart Water, a tributary of the River Clyde.
The town became prominent in the 12th century, with the establishment of Paisley Abbey, an important religious hub which formerly had control over other local churches. It is often cited as "Scotland's largest town", as it does not have city status.
By the 19th century, Paisley was a centre of the weaving industry, giving its name to the Paisley shawl and the Paisley Pattern. The town's associations with political Radicalism were highlighted by its involvement in the Radical War of 1820, with striking weavers being instrumental in the protests. As of 1993, all of Paisley's mills had closed, although they are memorialised in the town's museums and civic history.
Paisley was bidding for the title of UK City of Culture in 2021 as part of plans to use culture and heritage to help regenerate the town.