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OrganistOnTheHill

List of beautiful English Organs

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A beautiful case - I saw it a good few years ago and was impressed.  Unfortunately, the organ hasn't lived in it since the Binns rebuild of 1926 (it was originally by Gern and may have had an unreliable pneumatic action) and has not been fortunate since.  You can see it skulking in the north aisle to the left of the picture.

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FWIW I didn't bother putting in NPOR links previously because I felt this thread was about the cases really, not the organs.  No intention to upset anyone!

A few more I've stumbled across by chance in the last few days:

Shoreham, Ss Peter and Paul - another parish organ in an historic chair case, this time the Shrider / Jordan from Westminster Abbey:

St%20Peter%20and%20Paul,%20Shoreham,%20K

 

Chawton, St Nicholas - this one just contains a toaster nowadays so not much point NPOR linking

rhs-picture-768x1024.jpg

 

... and how could I forget St Mary's, Finedon?

organ-pipes-in-st-mary-the-virgin-church

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Kings Lynn Minster (St. Margaret's) - Snetzler case as restored by Holmes & Swift , who also (with some input from Nicholson) did an absolutely splendid job restoring and completing the organ itself, which had been rebuilt in 1962 by Rushworths, but with a lot of important stuff prepared-for due to lack of funds. http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=K01272

Related image

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Early in this thread, there was a picture of the little organ (sometimes attributed to Father Smith) at Staunton Harold, and I mentioned that the 1857 Bevington at Hilborough, Norfolk has a case which bears some uncanny resemblances to it (notably the very deep pipes shades to the flats). http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N06363 . See below for the picture of the Hilborough organ from NPOR. 

Regarding St. Andrew-the-Less, Cambridge, which also appeared early in the thread, I would have no argument with the statement that the organ was originally built by George Dawson, but the instrument as it stands is absolutely typical of A.T. Miller & Son's work around 1885.  This is at first apparent from the console (compass, layout, style and pattern of fittings) and specification (allowing for the substitution of a Dulciana for the Twelfth made at the wish of a one-time organist).  There are a number of very similar Millers of this date and scheme in the area.  Further signs of a late date are found within the instrument.  The manual soundboard sits beneath the arch of the organ chamber and the bellows and pedal pipes are in a lean-to on the other side of the tuner's plank.  The bellows weights are the typical iron bars used by Miller.  As would be expected in such a situation, the soundboard has the basses in the middle (the lowest dulcianas being mitred), and the ranks are planted with the Open at the front, then Principal, Stop Diapason, Gamba, Flute, Dulciana and Fifteenth.  The pipe-work looks to be late nineteenth century, with firm nicking and, for example, arched mouths to the 4' Flute.  The Stop Diapason is of wood but the 4' Flute is of metal.  Another sign that the organ in its present form post-dates the case is that the longest pipe in the case sounds B below tenor C.  This is rather unusual and may indicate re-scaling of the diapason.  It would be normal for the pipes of of an earlier instrument to be re-used, particularly this one, which is embossed. 

As far as I know, only one George Dawson organ survives in its original state, at Great Walsingham, Norfolk (http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N06297), which is the predecessor of the famous West Tofts organ now at South Pickenham.  Built presumably as a temporary instrument, it is a one-off in a number of ways (all wooden pipes, pipe-less grille on the front and general appearance of a Tudor cupboard with the doors closed).  Dawson was certainly involved with the later West Tofts organ. The iron bar which holds the front pipes in was delivered to him from Hardman in Birmingham and he may have had a lot more to do with the instrument, although Hooghuys's voicer, Zimmerman did the voicing.  However, it seems likely that Miller's took over at least the maintenance side of Dawson's connection (the two firms co-existed for a period, so it wasn't a simple matter of Miller succeeding Dawson) and they certainly did the enlargement at West Tofts as well as at least a major reconstruction at St. Andrew-the-Less.

 

XMLFunctions.cgi?Fn=GetPicture&Rec_index=N06363&Number=1

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A most interesting thread!

The Thomas Thamar case at St.Mark's Bilton, Warwickshire is well worth including. Formerly in the old chapel of St John's College Cambridge, it was added in 1872 to the new enlarged Bodley designed Chancel, as the case to a John Nicholson instrument

The Organ of St Mark's Church Bilton, Warwickshire

SomeChap has already posted (#2) my photo of the matching Chaire case in the redundant church at St Michael & All Angels Brownsover on the other side of Rugby. I do rather pipe-dream of reuniting the two cases!

More on the Bilton Organ here

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A beautiful picture of this important instrument and case. The booklet which can be accessed by clicking on the reference at the end of rogbi200's post is also very interesting, not just for its detailed description of the instrument but because it includes a picture of an organ described as its predecessor at Bilton (but Michael Hall in BIOS Journal 20 says that this organ was not, in fact, built because the decision was made to use the old St. John's College case instead).  This latter looked vaguely familiar and a little ferreting around turned up the original in F.H. Sutton's "Church Organs Their Position and Construction", where it is Figure 4 in the Appendix, given as an example of a small Gothic organ. 

Incidentally, my copy of Sutton (in Hilary Davidson's modern edition produced by the Positif Press in 1998) is a treasured possession because it was given to me by the Revd. Bernard Edmonds - one of the many kindnesses which he showed me over the years.  The field of organ historiography owes so much to B.B.E., as I'm sure many besides my self can testify.

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Not the best picture, but the situation (west end of north aisle) is a bit dark.  Here's Roger Yates's 1939 organ at Bozeat, Northamptonshire, a remarkable job for its date.  The obtaining of secondary Great registers by duplication from the second manual (an enclosed Choir Organ) is after the manner of Henry Willis III (who borrowed the idea from Ernest Skinner), by whom Yates was trained, but the scheme is more advanced than anything Willis was doing at the time.  It's a very fine, neat and musical instrument, with the added bonus of a nice case.

http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=D03362

 

XMLFunctions.cgi?Fn=GetPicture&Rec_index=D03362&Number=1

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Not English, because it's in Scotland and was built by the Scottish craftsman Neil Richerby (Lammermuir Pipe Organs), but we could perhaps stretch a point to include St. Mary's Collegiate Church, Haddington, near Edinburgh.  I was tremendously impressed by this instrument when I called in there a few years ago, as I mentioned on this forum at the time.

http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N09188

XMLFunctions.cgi?Fn=GetPicture&Rec_index=N09188&Number=5

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Still in Scotland (for the moment, anyway - if Scottish independence goes ahead, there's a fair number of folk who would like to return to Norway), the Willis organ in St. Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall.  A pipeless screen by George Mackie Watson, who was the architect for the big restoration in the 1920s.  I think it's a very fine example of this type of case and the position (between the third and fourth bays of the Quire) means that the organ speaks down the main axis of the building and does not come between the choir and the congregation.  I played this organ virtually every day between 1979 and 1988 and I still look forward to playing it when I revisit Orkney.  Some recent work by the present Willis firm, including (so David Wyld tells me) tuning to the "Willis Scale" has left it sounding even better than it did before.  The cathedral is arguably the finest church in Scotland (no, dash it, it is the finest church in Scotland, but I'm biased!). By the way, in the pillar which you can just see to the right of the organ screen are buried the bones of St. Magnus. The bones of St. Rognvald are in the pillar to the left.  It is the only cathedral in the British Isles to contain the remains both of its patron saint and its founder.  Google 'St. Magnus Cathedral" for more pictures of this magical place.

http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N18236

XMLFunctions.cgi?Fn=GetPicture&Rec_index=N18236&Number=1

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Another interesting clerical architect was the Revd. Ernest Geldart (1848-1929).  He was Rector of Little Braxted in Essex, where the tiny church is decorated to an almost Byzantine degree.  Among his other designs, the organ case at Hawstead in Suffolk is a beautiful, but little-known piece of work, containing a nice little organ by the worthy (but not always inspired) John Rayson of Ipswich.

http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=D00317

XMLFunctions.cgi?Fn=GetPicture&Rec_index=D00317&Number=1

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Seeing as we've strayed into Scotland, I think a diversion to Wales is now acceptable and here is the organof St Mary's Usk. Originally built for Lllandaff Cathedral in 1861 the instrument was moved to Usk in 1900. As well as the painted pipes, including the chamade trumpets, the case and stop jambs are splendidly carved.

http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N09835

Image result for st mary usk organ

Image result for st mary usk organ

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St. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh - the Rieger organ, which sits in the south transept like the bows of a great ship (appropriate because it was given by the ship-owning Salveson family).  An organ of tremendous character and originality.  Although one of its memorable features is that it can put out a great deal of power, it is also distinguished for the wealth of quiet registrations which can be found.  Personally, I don't care much for some of the chorus reeds, but overall I think it's a glorious instrument.

http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=D02680

XMLFunctions.cgi?Fn=GetPicture&Rec_index=D02680&Number=1

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1 hour ago, OrganistOnTheHill said:

I don't know about anyone else here but I think elegantly painted pipes are just wonderful.

 

Then you should definitely make the pilgrimage to St Michael's, Tenbury Wells, if you get the opportunity.  The diapering on the front pipes depicts St Michael's slaughter of the dragon.  The pictures on NPOR do it little justice.  I think it is a shame that Willis did not "do" casework more often though.  On this organ, it would do much to highlight the diapering.

(http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N14871)

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1 hour ago, OrganistOnTheHill said:

I don't know about anyone else here but I think elegantly painted pipes are just wonderful.

 

I think so too.  Miller of Cambridge had a sort of house style involving olive green paint for the woodwork and quite elaborate painted pipes.  An otherwise plain pipe-rack could be made to look quite rich. It was the fashion some years ago to paint over all this - white for the case, gold for the pipes - but quite a number survive. Sometimes, the same style of painting can be found elsewhere in the church, such as on the window jambs - Thriplow, Cambridgeshire, is an example.

This is the organ at Snailwell, Cambridgeshire:

http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N03074

XMLFunctions.cgi?Fn=GetPicture&Rec_index=N03074&Number=1

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Organist on the Hill I couldn't agree more with you about painted pipes, whether cased or uncased.

The organ you quote was formerly in Llandaff Cathedral.  Have you seen the new, current on?  Stunningly good looking and sounds magnificent.

I had drinks and dinner at The Royal Academy of Music last night with someone I suspect was a colleague of yours at Harrow.  I think you won The Organ Club competition last December.  If so, well done.

Martin

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6 minutes ago, Aeron Glyn Preston said:

Then you should definitely make the pilgrimage to St Michael's, Tenbury Wells, if you get the opportunity.  The diapering on the front pipes depicts St Michael's slaughter of the dragon.  The pictures on NPOR do it little justice.  I think it is a shame that Willis did not "do" casework more often though.  On this organ, it would do much to highlight the diapering.

(http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N14871)

Tenbury is worth a visit anyway, because it's a very fine Father Willis and not as well known as some others.  You used to be able to get the key to the church from the local Post Office and they were quite willing to let people play the organ.  The only criticism of the front is that the pipes are maybe a little too widely spaced, but the stencilling is certainly well worth seeing.  I'm not sure if the front is by Willis, or if it was inherited from the previous Harrison, or even the Flight which preceded it.

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Bartlow, Cambridgeshire.  Another Miller.  Not such a good picture (the lighting makes the colour scheme look a bit drab).  A nice little organ, too, although the scheme doesn't look too hot.  Last time I was in there, David Miller (who described himself as the Steptoe and Son of organ building but nevertheless did some sturdy work) was doing a clean and overhaul.  If visiting, the nearby "Three Hills" pub was always a good one for food (Bernard Edmonds would have supported me on this one!).

http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N03021

XMLFunctions.cgi?Fn=GetPicture&Rec_index=N03021&Number=1

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Finchingfield, Essex.  Organ by Miller but case by Ernest Geldart (see above for his case at Hawstead), so not typical Miller.   I don't know if it has been done up, but when I knew the organ the trumpet being held by the angel in the centre had slipped so it went up his nose.

http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N05447

XMLFunctions.cgi?Fn=GetPicture&Rec_index=N05447&Number=2

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Hutton, Essex.  Another nicely carved case on a Miller organ, somewhat like Great Saling.  Carving by Rattee & Kett of Cambridge, who did a lot of work for Ecclesiologically minded patrons.  This one escaped me when I was doing research into Miller and his Cambridge contemporaries some years ago, and I was grateful to Jose Hopkins, who did a lot of Miller research,  for bringing it to my attention.  A very good organ too, in Millers'  earlier style with a striking chorus up to mixture.

http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=N08778

XMLFunctions.cgi?Fn=GetPicture&Rec_index=N08778&Number=1

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