St Peter’s has a fine organ by T.C. Lewis. Built in 1870, this remarkable instrument only has 11 stops but has an extraordinarily grand tone, particularly in the diapason chorus and trumpet, and sounds more like a cathedral-sized instrument. Each stop has colour and character and there are many more possibilities for producing beautiful registrations than you would expect. The sound of the organ is helped by the church’s exceptional acoustics.
The instrument has a number of unusual features – the layout of the great and swell is back to front, with the great at the back of the case. This is perhaps because the organ was designed as a domestic practise instrument. The position of the swell box would lower the volume slightly without dampening the tone.
The organ was first installed in the church temporarily, but was bought by St Peter’s in the 1870s and has been here ever since. Virtually all of the organ survives intact – pipes, case, soundbaords, action, keyboards, and large ivory drawstops. The one casualty has been the swellbox. This was removed in the 1960s, perhaps because it blocked the sound of the great.
T.C. Lewis was one of the most important organ builders of the 19th century. Unlike Willis, his great competitor, he followed the German tradition of Schulze, building organs with low wind pressure and bright tone. Few of his organs have survived intact, which adds to the importance of the St Peter’s organ, which has been awarded a Grade 11 Historic Organ Certificate by the British Institute of Organ Studies.
A testimony to excellent materials and craftsmanship, the organ has served admirably for more than 140 years. But this wonderful organ is in desperate need of restoration – we need to raise £100,000 to give the instrument a new breath of life and give the church another 100 years of fabulous music.
Please donate. If you would like to give money for the restoration of the organ, please contact the director of music, Will Fraser email@example.com
Open Diapason 8
Lieblich Gedact 8
Lieblich Gedact 8
Swell to Great
Great to Pedal
Swell to Pedal
The stop and key actions are mechanical. There are 56 notes on the manuals, C-g3, and 30 notes on the pedals, C – f1.
Update – March 2017
New pipes to save our pipes!
We are delighted to announce that, thanks to the generosity of the Listed Places of Worship (LPOW) Roof Repair Fund, the organ has been saved from the threat of destruction by a leaking roof.
New downpipes are not the most exciting of causes and hard to persuade people to part with money for to fix. Which is why the LPOW grant was so crucial. With a grant of £66,000, over the summer of 2016 we were able to completely replace the existing downpipes all around the church. This included reinstating a missing pipe over the organ transept, where water was prone to leak through the roof in heavy rain.
We look forward to being able to progress further works with the organ restoration now that these works have been achieved.