May 22, 2023

Group hopes to create coalition of investors to acquire hallowed piping ground on Skye

If enough investors can be assembled to cover an estimated £2.5-million to purchase the Husabost Estate and renovate the derelict laird’s house at Borreraig, the 2,500-acre hallowed ground on the Isle of Skye could come under the ownership of pipers for pipers.

The coalition project is being spearheaded by Eric Stein, the piping enthusiast/impresario behind the Sun Belt Invitational, the Ardmore Cup and the Pipe-Major Sandy Jones Amateur Invitational solo piping competitions.

The Florida-based piper has made initial inquiries about purchasing the estate to Highland Society of London Gold Medallist Euan MacCrimmon, who’s the land sales agent on the account and also a distant relation of the same MacCrimmon Dynasty of pipers who inhabited the land and purportedly ran a school of piping for about 300 years on the site.

The Husabost Estate includes 22 active tenanted farming crofts, and on the property is the MacCrimmon Cairn at Borreraig, a symbolic piping Mecca to which dozens make a pilgrimage each year to play a piobaireachd at the site.

The cairn was built in 1933 with funds from clan societies and donations from around the world. The Gaelic inscription in English: “The Memorial Cairn of the MacCrimmons of whom ten generations were the hereditary pipers of MacLeod and who were renowned as composers, performers and instructors of the classical music of the bagpipe. Near to this place stood the MacCrimmons’ School of Music, 1500-1800.”

The cairn was gifted to the College of Piping by General I.S. Martin for fee of 1 penny and a piobaireachd to be played at the site annually. The “penny and a piobaireachd” ceremony was conducted each year but reportedly lapsed from 2020 on.

Attracting enough investors to cover the cost and going through the necessary paperwork and legal documentation to submit a bid will be complicated, but Stein hopes that he can find enough experts in Scottish property law and accounting to be successful.

We caught up with Eric Stein from his home in Florida to talk about his vision for the project, plus an update on those highlight successful solo competitions:

If you’re interested in being an investor, you can contact Stein by email.

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