The Organ



History

'One of the finest organs in the north of England'


The earliest organ that is known of was bought with the help of 100 guineas given by Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Dawson of Chelsea in 1799, and stood in the gallery at the west end, where it is though the church musicians would have been seated.

In 1870 a new organ was built by T. H. Harrison of Rochdale, and was installed in its present position. A vestry was constructed under the organ, and the two stone pillars removed to allow the installation of the organ. The removed pillars are now on the west door of the church.

Eighteen years afterbeing installed, the organ was rebuilt by Wilkinson's of Kendal at a cost of £400. After the organ rebuilt, the Church had a three-manual organ, with 37 stops. There was 13 stops on the Swell, 11 on the great, 5 on the choir, 3 on the pedal and 5 couplers. Painted pipes were installed this time. At the time, the organ was said to be the 'one of the finest organs in the north of England'.

Until 1900 the organ needed to be pumped via a lever in the organ loft until Wilkinson's installed a hydraulic engine and blowing apparatus for £95 in 1899, but when electricity arrived, and electric blower was install (in 1913) and this was placed under the new choir vestry (built in 1913).

There was another rebuilt of the the organ in the 1920s when the electrics were installed. The size of the organ was increased to 15 stops on the swell, reduced to 10 on the great, and increased to 8 on the choir and 7 on the pedal. The cost of this rebuild was £912 13s 6d.

In 1971 it was again rebuilt, this time by Jardines of Manchester, and was reduced to two manuals, and the stops from the choir were then added to, or exchanged with stops on the other manuals.

In 1990 the organ was cleaned. The cost was £30,000 (a huge sum compared to the earlier rebuilds)m and was done by Rushworth and Draper of Liverpool.

The organ today has 16 stops on the swell, 12 on the great, 7 on the pedal, and 3 couplers, There are also 4 pistons for each manual and for the pedals, with 8 different combinations.

Information gathered by Simon Fleming and published in his History and Guide to St. Andrew's Church, Penrith (1997)