"I Will Build As In The Days of Old"

Border Pipes

Introduction to the Border Pipe

This was a bagpipe that was played in Lowland Scotland and in Northumberland during the 18th and 19th centuries, that is, from Newcastle to Aberdeen. Unlike many bagpipes that are being "revived" today, there is no doubt that it existed! Museum examples are plentiful, particularly in Scotland and the north of England. The celebrated Northumbrian piper James Allan is known to have played it. Although a casual resemblance to the Highland bagpipe seems to pertain, both instruments having conical chanters , a bag and drones, there are important differences: the Border pipes are usually bellows-blown, the drones issue from a common stock and there are no particular problems with reeds as they operate within a moisture-free environment. Other differences are the chromatic nature of the chanter, the approachable volume, and the repertoire, which overlaps with the older music for (keyless) Northumbrian pipe. With a natural partner in the fiddle, it has been widely taken up by Scottish folk groups. Present-day exponents of the instrument includeMatt Seattle and Rory Campbell. People wishing to take up the Border pipe will find printed tutors available, an increasing number of makers, and non-standard playing styles that vary agreeably according to musical circumstances.

Sound Sample:

My Border pipes are credited on the CD "Sheaf and Knife" and feature on the first track "Burning of Auchindoon" which may be heard here


The instruments are individually hand-made from finest materials.

Possible drone arrangements are bass and two tenors, or bass tenor and alto.

Scottish and Border tunes can be played on these instruments.

Pipes available in
A or Bb
Cane or synthetic reeds

Ezeedrone reeds available now please enquire.

The pipe plays at a little over smallpipe pressure.

  • G
    Good chromatic notes: Cnat, Fnat, D#, G#
  • Materials: Yew, Palisander (Rosewood),
  • Mopane, African Blackwood, Castello Box.
  • Mounts: Black Horn, Box, Artificial Ivory.
  • Ferrules: Box, Horn, Brass, Silver.





ed HREF="Documents and Settings/John/My Documents/STE-14mp3>>'Oyster Wife's Rant' from Peacock's Tunes, transposed down a tone. Send a request via ema



Antique style Border pipe

Yew or Palisander with boxwood fittings. Acid-stained or natural finish

This style,based on an instrument in Morpeth Chantry Bagpipe Museum, £923 includes bellows.


Bellows £200 with pipes £150 with French polish + £40

The pipe can be mouthblown: £850

Antique style Border pipe

Based on the style of MacDougall of Aberfeldy, set shown is in stained laburnum and box.

Drones A, a and e.

Uses 'alternative' Highland fingering characteristic of the Northumberland 'Half-long' pipe.

This style £980 mouthblown, £1100 with bellows.


'Home Style' Border Pipes


Based on instruments made in 2010.

Acid-stained Yew and Boxwood

This style £973.00 includes bellows


Reed Making Service:

Reeds made for Northumbrian small pipe, Scottish smallpipe, Smallpipe reeds.

For reasons of practicality loan of the chanter is requested during the reedmaking.

Apply for prices


Please be careful with the reeds!




Lowland and Border Pipe Maker
since 1999

29 Foundry Fields Crook Co. Durham DL15 9JY UK tel. 01388 762620