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The lands of Stanely was the ancient seat of the Danzielstons (Dennistouns). They sold the lands to the Maxwell family who proceeded to build the Castle that still stands in the reservoir.

In the 17th century the lands were again sold, this time to the Ross Family, whose principal residence was Hawkhead House.

The Castle then passed to the Boyle family, through marriage, the Boyles having the title of Earl of Glasgow. The Boyle’s principal residence was Kelburn Castle in Largs. Due to debt problems they were forced to abandon Stanely Castle and the 4th Earl sold it to the Paisley Waterworks Company.

Paisley in the 19th century was crying out for a clean fresh water supply. Dr James Kerr, an emminent surgeon , took up the mantle. He appointed Robert and James Thom, the engineers that had already provided clean water to Greenock through the Greenock Cut, to devise a system of sluices and pipes to provide fresh water to the Town.

The lands of Stanely were aquired from the Boyle family and a reservoir created to provide a plentiful supply of clean fresh water to the town. Amid much celebration in the town, the first sluice was opened in July 1838 by Dr Kerr.

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