Renfrew Town Hall

Photo of the exterior of Renfrew town hall and the street leading up to it.

Renfrew town hall enhances the skyline of Renfrew with its fairytale outline. Its design is a mix of French and Gothic styles, and it features a square tower one hundred and five feet high with corbelled turrets at each corner. The architect was James Lamb of Paisley.

The Memorial Stone was laid in 1872 with a street procession and grand ceremony. The building was completed and opened in October 1873.

The new hall was a replacement for the old tolbooth, which had served as both town hall and jail for two hundred years. It was considered to be too small and was in a state of disrepair when it was demolished in 1871. Also demolished were a variety of old buildings and thatched cottages which surrounded it. The town council had purchased them in order to create more space for the new town hall.

Black-and-white image of The old Renfrew tolbooth


In 1878, only five years after its opening, disaster struck. Fire destroyed much of the new structure, and it had to be rebuilt. The rebuilding was supervised by Loudon McQueen, clerk of works on the nearby Blytheswood Estate. He restored the Gothic hall and offices, created a balustraded flat roof and raised a taller turreted tower to dominate the centre of town. He also added a new clock, and the local newspaper reported:

"A new clock has been fixed in the tower, and this will doubtless prove a boon to the inhabitants, who were sometimes led astray in their calculations by the original timepiece, which was eccentric in its movements."

Black-and-white photograph of Renfrew Town Hall (and the street it's on) circa 1905.
Since then, the town hall has stood proudly at the centre of life in Renfrew and has been a well-known landmark for generations.


For more information on the history of Renfrew, the hall or other historic buildings in Renfrewshire, please contact the Local Studies Library.

Renovation Project 

After a £5.2m modernisation programme, the building reopened in January 2012, having been fully restored and extended to house the new Renfrew Museum, which was previously based at the Brown Institute.

The beautifully re-furbished town hall has improved access and includes a public foyer with seating and wi-fi access, and a new marriage suite.

For more information about making provisional bookings at Renfrew Town Hall, please access the venue hirepage.

Renfrew Town Hall and Museum
Renfrew Cross

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Thursday, October 30, 2014