The Organs of Guildford Cathedral

There are two organs in the Cathedral, the main instrument (details below) which occupies two positions on the north side of the building with its console above the south choir stalls, and the instrument in the Musicians' Gallery of the Lady Chapel. Both instruments were installed by the Liverpool firm of Rushworth & Dreaper, the smaller organ originally being intended as a temporary instrument while the main organ was being constructed. Almost fifty years on both instruments continue to do sterling service, the main organ the gift of the Coulthurst Trust and the small organ the gift of a private donor.

The Main Organ

The greater part of the Cathedral organ is, in fact, an instrument which started its life in Rosse Street Baptist Church, Shipley, Yorkshire. This instrument was most probably built around 1866 by Nicholson of Bradford, and was then enlarged by Messrs Harrison and Harrison of Durham in 1899; what was already a respectably substantial three-manual instrument had a fourth manual added, and it was this four-manual organ which was removed to Liverpool to become the backbone of the organ for Guildford's new Cathedral in 1960.

As 17 May 1961 loomed, and with it the proposed Cathedral consecration, Rushworth & Dreaper skilfully constructed a remarkably complete piece of work (even though its façade in the north transept gallery was temporary). A year later Rushworth & Dreaper built a brand new Positive division above the north choir stalls in order to provide more immediate choral accompaniment.

Since 1962 the only major work to the organ has been an overhaul in 1983, including the installation of a solid state combination system, the building in 1990 of a one-manual mobile console to operate the Positive division remotely, the revision of the Great and Swell mixtures in 1993, together with replacing the Positive 4' Nason Flute with a 4' Principal, the duplexing of the Positive 8' Rohr Gedackt on the Swell, and in 1999 the substitution of a Vox Humana for the 2' Piccolo in the Solo division. Many of the soundboards and reservoirs, and much of the building frame and pipework, date from 1866 and/or 1899, and it is an interesting thought that in this most modern of Cathedrals is an instrument containing working mechanisms which pre-date the surrounding building.

The organ contains 66 manual ranks, and 4,398 pipes. The present specification is detailed on the right.

More Information

More detailed notes of this organ, together with the specification of the Lady Chapel organ, can be found in The Organs of Guildford Cathedral by Geoffrey Morgan. Please send a cheque for £2.00 made payable to Guildford Cathedral, together with a stamped, addressed A5 or larger envelope (marked ‘Organ Booklet') to:

Carolyn Howard-Jones
Guildford Cathedral Office
Stag Hill
Guildford
GU2 7UP

Stops

Great

  • Double Diapason 16
  • Open Diapason I 8
  • Open Diapason II 8
  • Open Diapason III 8
  • Waldflöte 8
  • Stopped Diapason 8
  • Octave Diapason 4
  • Principal 4
  • Stopped Flute 4
  • Twelfth 2 2/3
  • Fifteenth 2
  • Mixture (19.22.26.29) IV
  • Trombone 16
  • Trumpet 8
  • Clarion 4

Swell (enclosed)

  • Contra Salicional 16
  • Geigen Diapason 8
  • Rohrflöte 8
  • Salicional 8
  • Vox Angelica 8
  • Principal 4
  • Koppelflöte 4
  • Fifteenth 2
  • Sesquialtera (12.17) II
  • Mixture (19.22.26.29) IV
  • Oboe 8
  • Contra Fagotto 16
  • Cornopean 8
  • Clarion 4
  • Rohr Gedackt (Positive) 8

Choir (unenclosed)

  • Lieblich Bourdon 16
  • Open Diapason 8
  • Stopped Diapason 8
  • Dulciana 8
  • Gemshorn 4
  • Suabe Flute 4
  • Nazard 2 2/3
  • Flautina 2
  • Mixture (15.19.22) III
  • Trombone (Great) 16
  • Trumpet (Great) 8
  • Clarion (Great) 4

Solo (enclosed)

  • Hohlflöte 8
  • Viole d'Orchestre 8
  • Violes Celestes 8
  • Concert Flute 4
  • Vox Humana 8
  • Clarinet 8
  • Orchestral Oboe 8
  • Tuba (unenclosed) 8

Positive (floating)

  • Gemshorn 8
  • Rohr Gedackt 8
  • Principal 4
  • Spitzflöte 4
  • Nazard 2 2/3
  • Blockflöte 2
  • Tierce 1 3/5
  • Larigot 1 1/3
  • Fourniture (22.26.29) III

Pedal

  • Sub Bass 32
  • Open Wood 16
  • Open Metal 16
  • Violone 16
  • Bourdon 16
  • Salicional (Swell) 16
  • Quintaton (Positive) 16
  • Octave Wood 8
  • Principal 8
  • Bass Flute 8
  • Fifteenth 4
  • Octave Flute 4
  • Mixture (19.22.26.29) IV
  • Contra Trombone 32
  • Ophicleide 16
  • Trombone (Great) 16
  • Trumpet 8
  • Clarion 4

Couplers & Accessories

  • Swell to Great
  • Choir to Great
  • Solo to Great
  • Positive to Great
  • Solo to Swell
  • Swell to Choir
  • Solo to Choir
  • Positive to Choir
  • Positive to Solo
  • Great to Pedal
  • Swell to Pedal
  • Choir to Pedal
  • Solo to Pedal
  • Positive to Pedal
  • Swell Octave
  • Swell Unison Off
  • Swell Sub Octave
  • Solo Octave
  • Solo Unison Off
  • Solo Sub Octave
  • Swell Tremulant
  • Solo Tremulant
  • Positive Tremulant
  • Great and Pedal Combinations
  • 8 thumb pistons to Great
  • 8 thumb pistons to Swell
  • 8 thumb pistons to Solo
  • 4 thumb pistons to Choir
  • 4 thumb pistons to Positive
  • 16 general thumb pistons
  • 1 general piston to unison couplers
  • 8 toe pistons to Pedal
  • 8 toe pistons to Swell
  • Generals on Great and Pedal pistons
  • Generals on Swell toe pistons
  • 9 reversible thumb pistons
  • 6 reversible toe pistons
  • Setter piston
  • Cancel piston
  • 8 levels each of memory for departmental and general pistons
  • Manual compass: CC - c (61 notes)
  • Pedal compass: CCC - G (32 notes)

Wind Pressures

  • Pedal reeds: 7"
  • Pedal flues: 5"
  • Great reeds: 7"
  • Great flues: 3½"
  • Swell reeds: 7"
  • Swell flues: 4"
  • Solo: 4½"
  • Solo Tuba: 15"
  • Positive: 2½"