Reiver Instruments - Traditional Luthiers

Our Approach

At Reiver Instruments we hand craft stringed instruments using traditional methods and materials and where ever possible we try to source local tonewoods. The back of the inlaid cello you can see in our gallery is carved from Mid-Lothian sycamore.

We also work hard to make sure that every instrument brought to our workshop experiences the same level of professional care so it can achieve its full potential in tone and playability.

Reiver Instruments - Luthiers

Our Story

Narelle Freeman came to sunny Cumbria in 2014 and established Reiver Instruments.

Based about half way between Carlisle and Penrith in Cumbria, Reiver Instruments is home to the making and repairing of a range of stringed instruments from violins to double basses, acoustic, arch top, classical and electric guitars, mandolins, ukes, lutes, bouzoukis and cuatros.

Reiver Instruments - Narelle Freeman bridge

About Narelle Freeman

Narelle has been a luthier for a bit over two decades and began by volunteering as an apprentice in a violin shop back home in Australia. She graduated from the Newark School of Violin Making in 2002, has taught violin making and repair at Chapel Violins and the Newark School, and was a Trustee for the Rowan Armour-Brown Trust. Narelle is a member of the British Violin Makers Association, Eden Valley Artistic Network, Guild of American Luthiers, the Galpin Society  for the study of musical instruments and a professional member of the National Association of Musical Instrument Repairers.

Reiver Instruments - Traditional Lutherie News

Latest News

There's going to be a book!!!

'Spruce & Strings' will focus on the art of the traditional luthier - both violin and guitar making. The history behind the craft of musical instrument making is really entangled with musical, social and political stories that sometimes have operatic proportions.  It has made great reading in the research!

More details to come about a publication date - likely to be late 2020.

How we can help...

Stringed instruments made of timber are always reacting to the changes in temperature and humidity as well as the forces applied to them from the tension of the strings, which means they are subject to all sorts of potential issues with the set-up and sound.  This is one of those times that you can blame your tools if it just isn't playing right.  If you would like to discuss any problems please email or call and Narelle is always happy to advise remotely whenever possible.