Currently viable crafts


Bagpipe making


The making of bagpipes, a type of instrument using enclosed reeds fed from a constant reservoir of air in the form of a bag.


Status Currently viable
Craft category Instruments
Historic area of significance
Area currently practised
Origin in the UK
Current no. of professionals (main income) Northumbrian pipes: 0
Current no. of professionals (sideline to main income) Northumbrian pipes: 5-7
Current no. of trainees Northumbrian pipes: 0
Current total no. serious amateur makers
Northumbrian pipes: Small number of makers at the top end of the hobby range, making one or two sets a year.
Current total no. of leisure makers
Minimum no. of craftspeople required



There are several types of bagpipe traditional to the UK, including the Great Highland bagpipe, the Uilleann pipe, the Scottish smallpipe and borderpipe, the Northumbrian pipe, the Lincolnshire bagpipe, the Cornish bagpipe and the Welsh bagpipe.




Local forms

There are several types of bagpipe traditional to the UK, including:

  • Great Highland bagpipe
  • Uilleann pipe
  • Scottish smallpipe and borderpipe
  • Northumbrian pipe
  • Lincolnshire bagpipe
  • Cornish bagpipe
  • Welsh bagpipe




Issues affecting the viability of the craft

  • In the 70s and 80s there were evening classes in Northumbrian pipe making using school craft workshops. These no longer exist.


Support organisations


Craftspeople currently known

A list of bagpipe makers and suppliers can be found on the Bagpipe Society’s website.


Other information

Northumbrian pipes: Five years ago there were at least three full-timers and half a dozen part timers.