The application of high pressures to synthesis in inorganic materials chemistry significantly widens the range and type of compound that can be prepared. Three different high pressure systems that allow, respectively, synthesis under flowing oxygen, nitrogen and hydrothermal conditions are described together with a new result obtained on each. Under hydrothermal conditions a framework material of the composition Ca 8 [AlGaSiO 6 ] 4 (OH) 8 has been prepared and structural analysis shows that this material contains uniquely linkages of the type Al–O–Ga. Under high pressure nitrogen, copper has been doped into the Li 3 N structure to levels higher than previously achieved and with high pressure oxygen a series of new phases of the type Ln 2 Ba 4 Cu 7–x Ni x O 14+δ (247) (Ln=lanthanide, yttrium) have been synthesised. The valuable role of high pressures in synthetic solid state chemistry is discussed.