Simon Chadwick's
Early Gaelic Harp Emporium


Uamh an Ard Achaidh lyre bridge reconstruction
Copy of the prehistoric Skye lyre bridge; click to enlarge

Lyres are very different from harps, with a tradition and heritage of their own. Lyres are shown on some Early medieval Irish and Scottish stone crosses from over 1000 years ago, and the oldest musical instrument from Western Europe is the 2500 year old lyre bridge from the Isle of Skye in Scotland.

Irish lyre

I have been working on developing an early medieval Scottish or Irish lyre, with strings of iron, brass and silver. I can now offer a student version. Imported maple body and soundboard, set up by me with hand-drawn silver, latten and iron strings. Supplied complete with a carry case, wrist strap, wooden tuning key, and spare strings. £320 plus shipping.
A deposit of £100 secures your instrument; the balance payable before delivery.
Other options include gut or horsehair strings, a 7th string, or improved rear-mounted tuning pegs. PDF pricelist.

Professional quality lyres can be made by Michael King and set up by myself with metal strings as above. I can also supply strings or complete stringsets for you to install on your own lyre. Please enquire for availability and pricing.

Irish lyre

I can also offer a copy of the Iron age Scottish lyre bridge from Uamh an Ard Achaidh (High Pasture Cave), on the Isle of Skye. Hand-carved to order from local Scottish timber. There are various options in reconstructing the broken original to accomodate from 3 up to 9 strings. Please enquire for details. £100 (plus shipping at cost).