Oakshaw Trinity Church
Old High Church Oakshaw Trinity
Church Hill is a very steep road leading from the High Street. The High Church dominants the top of the road and its spire dominants the Skyline of Paisley. The High Church is ashlar rectangle with arched windows it has five-stage tower with the fourth set back and the fifth octagonal surmounted by a spire. The architect was John White. The Church was built between 1750 and 1754 the steeple in 1770 and the interior was re-cast in a Renaissance manner in 1877.
To the east and half way down Church Hill is the middle Church this building is quoined rubble rectangle with a period roof. It has a two-storey treatment and windows are arched at the first floor.
The architect was Samuel Henning and the Church was built in the period 1779 to 1781 with its interior re-cast in 1884. After the congregation amalgamated with that of Canal Church to form Castehead Church in 1975, the Middle Church was converted into flats in 2001
“Who is that mysterious figure on the High Church spire? His name is “Wee Leach” he was a ghostly, fairy – like figure, that made its way up to the top of the church spire.
Local newspaper published an article in 1820s and claimed that a fairy – like figure could be seen perched on the top of the High Church spire smoking his clay pip.
Reports of large crowds of onlookers gathered at the top of Churchill Brae to get a closer look at this little wonder fairy – like figure, on the top of the High Church spire.
They came from all parts of the town, along with fleshers’ shops, weavers, drawer boys, and girls who abandoned their shuttle and looms.
They all came for themselves to see this magical spectacle but it was only those blest with good eyesight swore they saw him, for those who could not see him purchased glasses of all shapes and sizes with the hope of catching a glimpse of “Wee Leach” on the spire.
” Twa Bells,”
DAVID RORRISON was a native of Paisley. He followed the trade of a handloom weaver, and was a respect able, well-behaved man, and a good tradesman. He worked at the loom as long as his health permitted him to do so, but when his strength began to give way, he went about the town selling tea and tobacco to gain a livelihood. He died about twelve years ago.
Like many other handicraftsmen engaged in plying the shuttle, he was a votary of the Muses, and was the author of many poetical pieces which cannot in the meantime be found, as they were given to a relative, and it is suspected they were destroyed by some one who did not know their value.
The more is the pity if they were equal to his poetical piece called the ” Twa Bells,” which appeared in a periodical entitled “The Paisley Miscellany,” the first number of which was published on 22nd September, 1823. Each number of this periodical, whose existence was of short duration, consisting of 36 pages, was without printer or publisher’s name, and the price was three pence.
The poetical piece possesses considerable merit, and as the sub jects referred to in it are eminently local, they are the more interesting to those who know the ” locale.” The first bell that was placed in the High Church steeple in May, 1776, weighed 1050 lbs., and cost £75.
When rung on the joyous occasion of the accession to the throne of George IV., 29th January, 1820, it was unfortunately cracked. The money to provide a new bell was raised by subscription, and the dialogue in this piece of rhyme is sup posed to have taken place between the old bell while in its place in the steeple, and the new bell while it remained in the porch of the church previous to its being fixed in the highest stage, for which it was destined. Please see below The Poem of the “Twa Bells”
Poem: The Twa Bells;
Ae night when tipsy an’ our late,
Gaun strachering by the hie kirk gate,
I thought I heard a sound come doon,
Fra the high battlements aboon,
A solem plaintive lengthened strain,
Like that of wailing age in pain,
Then next I heard a hollow noise,
It seamed as fra the grave it spoke,
Responding upwards to the clock,
My hair stood up, I dinda ken,
It might be ghosts or doctors men,
Mist black wi fear, my teeth a, clacking,
I, listening, heard the twa bells cracking;