Lowland Pipes

Lowland Pipes are more commonly known as Border Pipes. For a detailed background to this pipe and issues concerning how they are named please visit my History of Border Bagpipes page for more information.

Lowland Pipes are available in ‘A’ & ‘Bb’ with the most popular pitch being ‘A’. The chanter of these pipes has a conical bore whereas the Scottish Smallpipes have a cylindrical bore. They are reeded with a V shaped reed reminiscent of the reed for the Highland Bagpipe Chanter. Many older sets, and still some modern makers, use a modified Highland Bagpipe reed. I use reeds of my own design which gives them their own unique tone. In general this means the sound is very similar to the sound of the GHB but somewhat quieter and less strident in volume.


Like my Smallpipes, all of my drone sliders are lined with with fine gauge brass sleeves giving a lovely smooth action for the movement of the tuning pin. This also reduces the need for maintenance through wear.

You have a choice of the Scottish arrangement of Tenor/Tenor/Bass or the Northumbrian arrangement of either Bass/Baritone/Tenor or Bass/Tenor/Alto. Any of these pipes which does not have the Scottish drone arrangement of Bass/Tenor/Tenor should rightly be called a ‘Northumberland Half-Long Pipe’, more especially if it has Bass/Tenor/Alto. If we do not acknowledge this then we effectively consign the Half-Long to the dustbin of history and unlike other makers I am not prepared to do this. And so if you are interested in anything with a drone arrangement with a 5th interval drone then please enquire about the Norhumberland Half-Long.

The design of my Lowland Pipes/Half-Longs is originally based upon Pipes from the early 19th Century which I studied in the Bagpipe Museum in Morpeth Northumberland (UK – Scottish Borders). In particular a set of Northumberland Half-longs by the famed maker Robert Reid. This was the traditional design of Lowland Pipes and distinct from styles of other makers, many of whom tend to make them look somewhat like small Highland Bagpipes. In 2014 I re-designed my Lowland/Border Pipes to incorporate a drone stop system with plungers, similar to the drone stops on Northumbrian Pipes. The multi-drilled collar beneath the Drone end ensures that the sound and tone of the Drones do not suffer in the way they would if there was only a single outlet hole in the side of the top ferrule, if this was the case you would hear a discernible ‘hiss’ as the air takes a sudden 90 degree turn to exit the Drone and there would be an absence of harmonics depriving the drones of their richness. The multi-drilled collars ensure a clean exit of the air column from the drone ends ensuring they retain their richness and vibrant sound.

Fully mounted sets

African Blackwood, Reid style decorated ferrules in Nickel Silver with a choice of Ivorine/Cocobolo or Boxwood mounts. Fully padded bellows complete with laser engraved Celtic Knotwork design. Drone-Stops, and Drone ends with Abalone Shell inlay. Mammoth Ivory and Hand engraved silver can be supplied – please enquire for price and availability.


Bellows wood is dependant upon availability. At the present time Honduras Mahogany is being used. If you want a special wood for your bellows then please let me know and I will always do my best to find it for you. Bellows for Lowland/Border Pipes are plain Honduras Mahogany with pads on both sides and are the standard size used for all Smallpipes. As shown in the pictures,you can choose a larger size as used with my Uilleann Pipes with a laser engraved Celtic Knotwork motif at + 100 Euro. All bellows have my garment-proof inlet valve as standard.


My bags are supplied by my expert Bag Maker in Scotland, Mark Bennett.


Prices reflect the fact that a case is not provided. Cases are not provided for a very important reason. In recent years as a result of increasing airline fuel levies the cost of shipping has become extremely expensive. Shipping handlers such as DHL, Fedex & UPS now operate what they laughingly call ‘volumetric pricing’. This is a way of charging you more for shipping. Instead of charging by weight of package – which is expensive enough – they take the size of the package and calculate a ‘weight’ based upon the size rather than the actual weight so that if the ‘volumetric weight’ is more than the actual weight – and of course it always is – that is what they charge. With the addition of a case shipping charges would be astronomical. Taking this into consideration it will be better for you the customer to source your own case if one is needed.