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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. Nearly sixty 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.

The organ was overhauled in 1983, at which juncture a solid state combination system was installed. In 1990 a one-manual mobile console was created, to operate the Positive division remotely, whilst the Great and Swell mixtures were revised in 1993, at which point the Positive 4' Nason Flute was replaced with a 4' Principal, and the Positive 8' Rohr Gedackt was made available on the Swell. In 1999 a Vox Humana was substituted for the 2' Piccolo in the Solo division.

From 2015 until March 2018, the organ fell silent, as the fabric of the Cathedral underwent extensive refurbishment. During this time, David Wells Organ Builders worked on the organ, restoring soundboards and remaking the reservoirs, cleaning individual flue pipes, making good the reed pipes, revoicing the Great and Swell chorus reeds, fitting all-electric slider solenoids to the drawstop machines, and replacing the Swell expression box. The present specification is detailed below.

Stops

Great

  • Double Diapason 16
  • Bourdon (Choir) 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 ⅔
  • Fifteenth 2
  • Mixture (19.22.26.29) IV
  • Trombone 16
  • Trumpet 8
  • Clarion 4

Swell to Great; Choir to Great

Solo to Great; Positive to Great

Swell (enclosed)

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

Swell Octave; Swell Unison Of

- Swell Sub Octave

Solo to Swell; Positive to Swell

Choir (unenclosed)

  • Bourdon 16
  • Open Diapason 8
  • Stopped Diapason 8
  • Salicional 8*
  • Principal 4*
  • Suabe Flute 4
  • Nazard 2 ⅔
  • Flageolet 2
  • Tierce 1 ⅗
  • Larigot 1 ⅓            Tremulant
  • Trombone (Great) 16
  • Trumpet (Great) 8
  • Clarion (Great) 4

Swell to Choir; Solo to Choir

- Positive to Choir

Solo (enclosed)

  • Hohlflöte 8
  • Viole d'Orchestre 8
  • Violes Celestes 8
  • Concert Flute 4
  • Piccolo 2
  • Clarinet 8
  • Orchestral Oboe 8            Tremulant
  • Tuba (unenclosed) 8

Solo Octave; Solo Unison Of

- Solo Sub Octave

- Positive to Solo

Positive (floating)

  • Gemshorn 8
  • Rohr Gedackt 8
  • Principal 4
  • Spitzflöte 4
  • Nazard 2 ⅔
  • Blockflöte 2
  • Tierce 1 ⅗
  • Larigot 1 ⅓
  • Fourniture (22.26.29)   III            Tremulant

Pedal

  • Sub Bass 32
  • Open Wood 16
  • Open Metal 16
  • Violone 16
  • Major Bourdon 16
  • Minor Bourdon (Choir) 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

Great to Pedal; Swell to Pedal

Choir to Pedal; Solo to Pedal

- Positive to Pedal

 

Accessories

  • Great and Pedal Combinations
  • 8 thumb pistons each to Great, Swell, Solo, Choir
  • 4 thumb pistons to Positive
  • 8 general thumb pistons
  • 8 toe pistons to Pedal
  • 8 toe pistons to Swell
  • Generals on Swell toe pistons
  • 11 reversible thumb pistons
  • 5 reversible toe pistons
  • Setter piston
  • Cancel piston
  • 96 levels of memory for general pistons
  • 16 levels of memory for divisional pistons
  • Manual compass:     CC - c (61 notes)
  • Pedal compass:     CCC - G (32 notes)

On a separate chest

* new (2015-18)