|This article does not cite any references or sources. (May 2012)|
|Scottish Gaelic: Ach na Feàrna|
Elderslie shown within Renfrewshire
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|UK Parliament||Paisley and Renfrewshire South|
|Scottish Parliament||Renfrewshire South|
Elderslie is disputed as the birthplace of Sir William Wallace, a knight born around 1270 who served as a military leader in the Wars of Scottish Independence before being captured and executed. It was presumed that Wallace was the son of Sir Malcolm Wallace of Elderslie. The basis for this was a poem written 150 years after the time of Wallace by a minstrel called Blind Harry. Examination of the seal which was sent on a letter to Lubeck after the battle of Stirling Bridge named Wallace's real father as Allan Wallace, a royal tenant living in Ayrshire at that time.
The village was once the home to Stoddard Carpets which made the carpets for the Cunard liners RMS Queen Mary, RMS Queen Elizabeth and RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 which were built by John Brown & Company in their shipyard in Clydebank. The firm also produced carpets for Queen Elizabeth II's wedding in Westminster Abbey, the ocean liner RMS Titanic and for the Concorde aircraft. A remaining example of the work which was carried out here can be seen in the circular carpet which covers the floor of the drawing room in Culzean Castle designed by Robert Adam.
The area has been settled since prehistoric times as evidenced by the cup and ring marks to be found to the south of the village above the bend on the road to the Peesweep. The stream running through the village is officially the Old Patrick Water but colloquially known as the Brandy Burn. 'The village's name translates into the Scottish Gaelic language as Ach na Feàrna.
It is assumed that William Wallace was born and grew up in Elderslie. On the site of the ancient Elderslie Castle where there are now information boards, there now stands a monument to commemorate his life. As late as the 1970s remains of the buildings on this site still stood with roofs intact although it is very doubtful how much of that existed in the time of Wallace. Auchenbathie Tower a few miles to the south is a site associated with William Wallace in an action against the English.
The Elderslie myth about Sir William Wallace's birthplace has come about because of name confusion. It is reasonably well documented that the Wallace lands were in Ayrshire and seems to connect the Wallace family to lands at Ellerslie near Riccarton, now a suburb of Kilmarnock, Ayrshire. It is easy to see why later balladeers and historians became confused between the little-known Ellerslie and the more widely known Elderslie.
There is one non-denominational state primary school in Elderslie: Wallace Primary School, which is a feeder school for Castlehead High School, a secondary school in Paisley. Wallace Primary and Castlehead High work very closely together to ensure the transfer from primary to secondary school is as seamless as possible.
Elderslie was once divided between two parishes of the established Church of Scotland, Elderslie West and Elderslie East, which amalgamated around 1977. Worshippers now meet in the former West church, renamed Elderslie Kirk.
There is a golf club called Elderslie Golf Club and a bowling club.
Football pitches are located at Old Road and Glenpatrick Road although it appears only the grass pitch is open to local use, the "blaes" pitch out of use now the Stoddard factory has gone, and been replaced by a new grass pitch.
The village had a swimming pool located at Stoddart Square for many years; but closed in April 2013.
- George Campbell Hay (1915-1984)- Writer
- William Wallace (died 1305), Scottish warrior
- Dougie Vipond (1966-present)
- Richard Madden (1986-present)- Actor
- Peter Nardone (1965-present)- Musician