The Forum has a variety of publications for sale, ranging from books to occasional papers. If you’re ordering any of the items on this list, please use the contact page to check availability and the cost of post & packing. The RLHF order form is available here. The Forum also regularly publishes a Journal. (see Journal Page for details)

Our current list of books includes:

Kilbarchan and the Handloom Weavers


Kilbachan Toun Series, No.4

Helen Calcluth

ISBN 978-0-95387-8-1

New Publication   –    Price £14.99 

                                          Reduced to £10.00 

                                                                Package and Postage, UK £4.00

The book covers the history of handloom weaving in the village. It discusses wool and linen weaving in the seventeenth century, the transformation of the village linen trade by entrepreneurial Kilbarchan merchants in the eighteenth century, silk and cotton weaving in the early nineteenth century and, finally, wool and tartan weaving in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. A chapter on the Printworks at Locher and chapter on the work of a Kilbarchan agent for a Paisley manufacturer are also included. A considerable part of the book necessarily deals with the social history of the village and includes biographical information on individual weavers. The text is fully referenced and is enhanced in its 152 over eighty illustrations (including sketch plans and maps) and some local poetry.

Renfrewshire Local History Forum Journal, Volume 18 (2016)


  1. Paisley: The Abbey and its Estate in the Middle Ages  Richard Oram
  2. The Life and Times of Patrick Brewster                          David Roberts
  3. Old Paisley Graveyards and their Churches               Richard M. Smith
  4. The Kilbarchan General Society,                                  Helen Calcluth
  5. A Map Which Changed History                                    Stuart Nisbet
  6. The Hay Family – Three Generations of Ministers in Renfrew             Helen Calcluth
  7. List of Articles published by RLHF in Gryfe Advertizer
  8. Index to Journal Volumes 1 to 17

      ISBN   0961 7248  67pp, ill 24b&w

       Price: £5.00  Out of Print. 


Prehistoric Renfrewshire

Derek Alexander
ISBN 0 9529195 0 8
Out of Print      Free Download of PDF Click Here
A series of papers, published in honour of Frank Newall, review hitherto largely unpublished archaeological work carried out in the County. The review includes five detailed accounts of excavations and the results of recent palaeo-environmental work in the area, concluding with a few ideas for future research topics. 76pp, ill 66b&w

IN THE NAME OF THE LION: Wallace Renfrewshire and the Wars of Independence    Out of Print

Alan Steel
ISBN 978 0 9538731 3
 Currently out of stock
A fresh look at the Wars of Independence through the experiences of the people in a small barony on the edge of a war zone. This unusual perspective is based firmly on contemporary sources, previously largely neglected, celebrating the daring, determination and resourcefulness of the Scots struggling through the most challenging period in their history.118pp

Schools in Paisley before 1872 Out of Print 

William J McKechin
ISBN 0 9529195 6 7
 Currently out of stock
A review of the private, charity and Sunday schools set up following the failure of parochial schools to respond to the new conditions and demands of the growing industrial town of Paisley in the early part of the 19th century.86pp

The Monastery and Abbey of Paisley

John Malden (Ed.)
ISBN 0 9529195 7 5
**£3.00**  Special reduced price (previously £15) Postage £3.00. 
Proceedings of the 1999 conference where leading experts in their respective fields emphasised the importance, not only of the institution and fabric of the Abbey Church and Monastery, but also the great archaeological significance of the variety of artifacts discovered in 2 feet of medieval silt in the Great Drain. The papers cover a wide spectrum from the archaeology of the drain, paleo botanic evidence, lead seals, inscribed slates, to the music of the Abbey, its history and architecture.251pp, ill 127col, 124b&w, plus 2 microfiche inserts

The Egyptian Collection of Paisley Museum

Robin & Susan Hunter
ISBN 0 9538730 5
Book £6.00 /CD-ROM £10.00/ Book + CD £15.00     CD only. Book currently unavailable.
A catalogue of the 346 items of Egyptological interest in the Paisley Museum collection giving a full description of each item with dates and translation of inscriptions where known. Book 80pp, ill 398 b&w Multimedia CD-ROM – PDF Adobe Acrobat as book but with illustrations in colour

Kilbarchan Toun Series No1

Baillie John Barbour and his Descendants

Helen Calcluth
ISBN 978 0 9538732 3
£9.00          Limited stock          Postage £3.00
Based on new research, a detailed account of the life of an 18th century Kilbarchan merchant and the fortunes, and misfortunes, of his family and descendants. The Barbour’s played a central part in the development of the linen industry in the village laying the foundations of the prosperous weaving trade for which the village was later renowned. Baillie John’s descendants played a significant part in the development of the Irish Linen Trade, the politics of Northern Ireland and in the commercial history of Manchester.44pp, ill 10 col , 2 b&w

Kilbarchan Toun Series No. 2

The Front Committee

Helen Calcluth
ISBN 978-0-9538733-0
£5.00   Postage £3.00
A Committee of village feuars established in 1822 who until the end of the nineteenth century diligently looked after the steeple clock, public wells and the village fire engine. The Committee’s Minute Books and Treasurer’s Books in excellent condition are still in the possession of Kilbarchan General Society. The Front Committee gives an account of the trials and tribulations experienced in maintaining the steeple clock and the numerous expensive repairs required throughout the nineteenth century. The account of the operation and maintenance of the village fire engine is of most interest as the old Kilbarchan Fire Engine is regularly on show at Lillias Day Parades. Pen sketches of Officers of the Front Committee may be of interest to family historians.62pp, ill 3 col, 18 b&w

Kilbarchan Toun Series No. 3

Glentyan Estate and its significance in the History of Kilbarchan

Helen Calcluth
ISBN 978-0-9538730-5-0
£6.50    Postage £3.
The book provides a historical account Glentyan Estate and its various owners – Alexander Speirs, Captain James Stirling, Thomas Mann and Richard Hubbard Hunter  –  and how these men  influenced in the village over a period of almost two centuries. 58pp. ill 19 col., 5 b&w

Paisley Papers: Renfrewshire Records devolved to Local Areas  Out of Print

Marion Murray
ISBN 0 9529888 0 1
Currently out of stock
When researching local and family history, the value of information entered in Poor Law applications soon becomes evident. Are there other records which could help in describing the circumstances in which our 19th Century ancestors found themselves? Enquiries and conversations among fellow genealogists, librarians and archivists, led the author to investigate the whereabouts and the descriptions of some of these records for Paisley and Renfrewshire.44pp, ill 4 b&w

Town’s Hospital Paisley CD – Paisley Almshouse and Poorhouse

Marion Murray’s original manuscripts copied onto CD in Adobe Acrobat PDF format – 2 files
   Out of Stock
An illustrated history of the Sneddon Poorhouse , commonly known as the Town’s Hospital is followed by details of inmates and out pensioners extracted from Minute Books from 26th May 1752 to 13th November 1764.In the PDF file on the Paisley Alms House is a similar record of the history of the institution followed by a list of references extracted from Paisley Town Council minutes from 1698 to 1823.Poorhouse PDF file – 47,999kb, 64pp, ill 6b&wAlms HousePDF file – 42,938kb, 72pp, ill 1col, 15b&w

Castle Semple Rediscovered

Stuart Nisbet
ISBN 978-0-9538730-4-3
£7.00    Postage £3.00
The story of the owners of Castle Semple and the changes they made to its architecture and landscape looking in particular at the change from the traditional Semple family to the McDowalls and the latter’s heyday in the eighteenth century. It reveals the McDowall’s origins and business interests in the Caribbean, dispelling the myth that the route to their wealth which purchased Castle Semple was based entirely on a ‘fortunate’ and ‘romantic’ marriage to an heiress. The book discusses the archaeology of the Semples’ castles, towers and chapels on their vast estates, compared with the McDowalls’ eighteenth century Palladian mansion house, and the architectural remains on their plantations in the Caribbean. It also provides an insight into the estate improvements and the changes in the landscape which the owners made around Lochwinnoch Loch. 108pp ill 35 col 31 b&w

Occasional Paper No.2

Multi-period use of the Moyne Moor- Mesolithic to modern: a Survey of Archaeological Features on the Moyne Moor, Neilston.

Bruce Henry (Ed.)
£3.00   Postage £3.00
A field survey of an upland moor 4 to 5 miles south of Neilston. Features discovered or confirmed range from the Bronze Age to the 18th – 19th centuries AD.29pp, ill 11b&w

Occasional Paper No.4

Johnstone Castle Excavation Report——Out of Print

Bruce Henry (Ed.)
ISBN 0 9529195 3 2
Out of Print
A brief history of the latest Johnstone Castle including a report on the excavation of two trial trenches seeking to find remains of the 18th – 19th century AD Mansion House developed around the original Tower House or earlier structures.15pp, ill 13b&w

Occasional Paper No.5

Gaps in History: Sources for finding Renfrewshire—— Out of Print

Edna Stark (Ed.)
ISBN 0 9529195 4 0
 Currently out of stock
Papers from a series of talks on Renfrewshire local history during the winter of 1997-8. Although of primary interest to local historians the papers may also be useful to family historians trying to trace Renfrewshire ancestors.44pp, ill 2b&w

Occasional Paper No.6

The Early Cartography of Renfrewshire  (revised edition, 2016)

John N Moore
ISBN 978-o-9538730-7-4
£5.00      Postage £2.50
A detailThe Early Cartography of Renfrewshire jpged but not exhaustive catalogue describing, mostly topographical, maps of the county of Renfrewshire from Pont in 1596 to the first OS maps in 1858. Descriptions of the contents, historical details and scales are given with sizes of the area covered within neat lines. The difficult subject of map accuracy is avoided as this is often variable and even detailed studies have been able to produce only generalised statements. 50pp

Occasional Paper No.7

The Castle and Lands of Stanely, Paisley, Renfrewshire

Dennis Topen
ISBN 0 9529195 9 1

Out of Print

This report offers a most complete architectural survey of Stanely Castle. A two phase structure, the castle shares a number of features with a group of towers in northwest Ayrshire. The paper places it in its emerging social and economic context by examining the ownership of the castle and lands in detail, exploring the wider context by using evidence from archaeological field survey.60pp, ill 33b&w