Renfrew (/ˈrɛnfr/; Scots: Renfrew; Scottish Gaelic: Rinn Friù) is a town 6 miles (10 km) west of Glasgow in the west central Lowlands of Scotland. It is the historic county town of Renfrewshire. Called the "Cradle of the Royal Stewarts" for its early link with Scotland's former royal house, Renfrew gained royal burgh status in 1397.


Renfrew Town Hall and centre

Arms of Renfrew Community Council
Location within Renfrewshire
Renfrew (Renfrewshire)
Population22,570 (mid-2016 est.)[2]
OS grid referenceNS519186
Council area
Lieutenancy area
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townRenfrew
Postcode districtPA4
Dialling code0141
UK Parliament
Scottish Parliament
List of places
55.878°N 4.389°W / 55.878; -4.389

As the county town, Renfrew once was a centre of local government for the surrounding area. Whilst the county remained known as "Renfrewshire", the focus of local government gradually shifted from Renfrew to its larger neighbour Paisley.

Following the reorganisation of 1996, Renfrewshire was divided for local government purposes into three modern council areas: Renfrewshire, with considerably smaller boundaries than the old county, including Renfrew and with its administrative centre at Paisley; Inverclyde with its centre at Greenock, covering the western part of the county; and East Renfrewshire, with its centre at Giffnock. The boundaries of the historic County of Renfrew remain for a number of ceremonial and administrative purposes.

The House of Stewart was previously based out of the former Renfrew Castle. In 1164, it was the site of the Battle of Renfrew, a decisive victory for the Scottish crown over Somerled, Lord of the Isles. Given its link to the monarchy and the victory at Renfrew, the heir to the British throne holds the title of Baron Renfrew and Lord of the Isles, the current holder being Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay.

Renfrew's historic industries include shipbuilding, given its position on the River Clyde and River Cart, and engineering. Today it primarily contains service sector businesses, including the nearby Braehead retail and leisure centre, built in 1999, which has resulted in the expansion of the town along Renfrew's riverside.