Paisley FM had an exclusive look at The Paisley Drain prior to the ‘Doors Open Day’ weekend tours on Saturday 7 September and Sunday 8 September 2019.
On Friday 6 September, Paisley singer-songwriter Michael Cassidy performed an acoustic set in the Drain itself which is close to Paisley Abbey and the Town Hall. The pieces are inspired by the polyphonic music found in the drain when it was first uncovered.
Paisley FM had a chat with singer Michael Cassidy in the drain and recorded the performance as shown on the pictures, left.
Considered one of Paisley’s major historical assets, the earliest parts of the 90m (295ft) long drain are thought to date from the 14th Century.
“When you wander around Paisley Abbey there is no evidence of it on the ground,” says Bob Will of Guard Archaeology, who is leading the tours this weekend. Between the Abbey and the River Cart, it’s just a grass park maintained by the council with trees, grass and flower beds.”
Through a manhole cover, it is a careful climb down a 5m (15ft) ladder before you can reach the drain. Although it is narrow, in this particular part of the structure you can stand up, elsewhere it is a crawl space.
The medieval drain was first discovered in 1879 and then rediscovered in the 1990s. Much of it was silted up, preserving and hiding many treasures, some of which are now on display in Paisley Abbey. A group of archaeologists spent months sieving through the silt and were rewarded for their efforts.
For this weekend’s ‘Doors Open Day’ events across Renfrewshire, there has been real interest in public access to the drain, with ticket allocation being decided by ballot.
Renfrewshire Doors Open Days 2019 runs on Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 September 2019.
Renfrewshire residents can get access to buildings and venues across the district which are not normally open to the general public. More info at: http://www.doorsopendays.org.uk/
It’s the return of one of Renfrewshire’s favourite annual events. More than 50 buildings across Renfrewshire – many of which do not normally allow access to the public – will welcome people of all ages and share interesting stories on Renfrewshire’s history and heritage.
Activities will take place in Paisley, Renfrew, Linwood, Johnstone, Lochwinnoch, Kilbarchan, Bridge of Weir, Houston, Erskine and Inchinnan, making for a spectacular weekend of free exploration and adventure.
While you’re out and about exploring, why not pay a visit to the wealth of shops, local cafes and businesses too. We’re sure you’ll discover something new – plus, you’ll be doing your bit to Spend Local and support independent businesses across Renfrewshire.
You can listen to the interview with Paisley singer-songwriter Michael Cassidy which took place deep in the Paisley Drain on Friday afternoon, 6 September, and also the musical performance from Michael as you can see from the photos taken in the Paisley Drain. Click on the player below.