Will be open for ev­ery Bud­die

In­vi­ta­tion to drop in to Pais­ley’s most iconic build­ings

Paisley Daily Express - - Front Page - Ken­neth Speirs

Every­one is in­vited in along to the ever-pop­u­lar Ren­frew­shire Doors Open Days.

This year’s event, which sees peo­ple in­vited into build­ings that are not of­ten open to the pub­lic, will take place over the week­end of Septem­ber 8 and 9.

On the list will be some old favourites such as Pais­ley’s Rus­sell In­sti­tute, Lap­wing Lodge and An­chor Mill.

Also on the agenda is the hid­den gem that is the Church of the Nazarene in Gor­don Street.

Not well known even among Pais­ley peo­ple, the St Matthew’s build­ing is gen­er­ally agreed to be one of the finest – if not the finest – Art Nou­veau churches in the world.

Its story dates back to 1903 when the then con­gre­ga­tion of St George’s Free Church de­cided to build a new place of wor­ship.

A site at the cor­ner of Gor­don’s Lane and Or­chard Place was ac­quired for £ 3,000 and old weavers’ cot­tages were de­mol­ished to make way for the new build­ing.

Pais­ley’s own Wil­liam Daniel McLen­nan, who was a young ar­chi­tect and a mem­ber of the con­gre­ga­tion at the time, was com­mis­sioned to take on the work. The build­ing cost £9,000. The ar­chi­tect’s brief was to de­sign a church in the Gothic Cathe­dral Style, to seat 800 and with halls to ac­com­mo­date 450.

How­ever, McLen­nan’s great achieve­ment was to blend the Gothic with his own Art Nou­veau style.

His ex­tra­or­di­nary achieve­ment was com­mented on by Dr Frank Walker, au­thor and univer­sity lec­turer.

He de­scribed its as “the most sig­nif­i­cant Art Nou­veau church in Europe.”

St Matthew’s is a cat­e­gory A-listed build­ing.

Last year, thou­sands of ex­plor­ers were handed the keys to some of Ren­frew­shire’s most his­toric sights and lo­ca­tions.

Doors Open Day is part of a world­wide event – with more than 50 coun­tries tak­ing part – that cel­e­brates the fan­tas­tic de­sign and ar­chi­tec­tural his­tory of the area.

Vis­i­tors to Pais­ley were given the op­por­tu­nity to spot some of the unique fea­tures of the town, in­clud­ing the Pais­ley Abbey’s gar­goyles and the Por­ridge Bowl roof of the John Neil­son In­sti­tute.

To find out more about Doors Open Days visit www. ren­frew­shireleisure.com

Star at­trac­tion Ren­frew Fire Sta­tion opened its doors last year

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