ORGANISERS of an archaeological dig in the heart of Paisley have been thrilled by the response from members of the public.

Hundreds of people of all ages headed into the town centre to take part in the Wee Dig 2017.

Among them were local school pupils and community groups who were keen to learn more about the mysterious grounds next to Paisley Abbey.

The sessions involved experiencing the dig itself, learning about various archaeological techniques and looking at artefacts from previous digs.

A film on the Paisley Abbey Drain was also shown to allow visitors to see what is under the area of the dig site.

The project unearthed a previously unexplored part of the Abbey Drain site.

It was funded through the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Stories, Stones and Bones programme as part of the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.

Paisley’s iconic 12th-century abbey is widely considered to be an architectural gem.

The abbey was the cradle of the Royal House of Stewart, as a number of the Stewarts were buried within its walls.

It is also believed that Robert II – the first Stewart king of Scotland and the grandson of Robert the Bruce – was born within the abbey’s walls.

Councillor Iain Nicolson, leader of Renfrewshire Council, said the week-long project was a huge success.

He added: “There has been a great deal of interest from the public to participate in and learn more about the Wee Dig 2017.

“It was fantastic to see so many people get their hands dirty and get excited and enthused about the town’s rich archaeological heritage.”

The dig and supporting activities were led by archaeologist firm GUARD Archaeology Limited, who managed the project on the ground, delivered the workshops and answered questions throughout the week.