Grave, Burntsheil Rig, Moorfoot Hills.
On the south east boundary of the farm of Dewar can be found the
head and footstones of a grave, said to be that of the Piper of
Peebles, who collapsed and died there when playing the pipes
from Peebles to Lauder for a wager. The head and footstones
mentioned above are not obvious at the location but a 0.60m high
dressed and modern slab with the words "The Piper's
Grave" can be seen by the roadside. There are a few small
stones to the rear of this stone but as to whether these are the
head and footstones referred to, is not known. Another trip to
the area is planned.
This stone can be seen by the road side on the B709 Innerleithen
to Heriot road, on the high ground at Bruntsheil Rig.
In lay-by beside stone.
Tradition tells us that this is the last resting place
of an itinerant piper who eked out a meagre living some time
early in the 18th century. He was known to frequent the
local hostelries taking wagers that he could play any tune
that a customer could care to name.
One evening after a bout of particularly riotous
jollification, he chanced to remark that he could play non stop
all the way between Traquair House and Edinburgh Castle, a
distance of some thirty miles, without repeating a tune. This
was obviously too credulous for those present to believe and,
sensing easy money, virtually everyone took up his offer of a
bet. So, late that night, the motley throng set off, high on ale
and expectation. Almost immediately some lost heart as the
magnitude of their challenge hit them, immediately returning
home to the safety of their turf fires. Others however, of
sterner composition were determined to follow the piper even
into the wilds of the Moorfoot Hills.
It was only as the night grew wilder and the terrain more
inhospitable that doubt started to creep in. The piper,
obviously at home in this sort of terrain, showed no signs of
flagging and, of course, he had no need eventually to retrace
his steps back to the start. The whole situation was now
becoming serious and subterfuge was necessary. Seizing one of
the pipers unguarded moments one of the group made a hole in the
windbag of his pipes. The extra effort now required to play,
combined with the steep climb past Dewar, quickly drained the
pipers stamina. On reaching the top of the pass he sat down
exhausted, never to rise again. Here he was buried along with
The present dressed modern stone may not be the original stone
and the original, un-worked stones marking the grave may still
exist in the immediate vicinity.