The organ is the
second one to have been installed in the church and was built
by Hele & Co. of Plymouth in 1879. It replaced the
original organ, built by H. P. Dicker of Exeter, which is now
in Swanmore, Ryde, I.O.W.
The organ is housed in what was formerly a chapel at the south side of the chancel,
with pipe-work in the Giles Gilbert Scott casing over the south side of the choir,
and the Great Organ facing south at the east end of the south aisle,
behind a very ornate Temple-Moore stone frontage.
It was constructed in 1879 by Hele & Co of Plymouth and was probably the "Magnum Opus" of John Hele.
At the time of its construction it had several Cavaillé-Coll ranks included in the build,
and was reputedly the largest organ in Britain, west of Bristol,
according to Deryck Seymour's article in "The Organ" (Vol. 131, P137).
Whilst the church was being prepared for its installation, the organ was first completely erected in St Andrew's Hall, Plymouth,
where several noteworthy organists of the day, including W T Best and the then organist of St. Mary Magdalene, Mr T Craddock,
who had drawn up the original specification, gave recitals on it.
At that time, it had 43 speaking stops on the four manuals and pedals.
It underwent major refurbishments by Hele & Co. in 1910 and 1949, with several specification changes,
and was at its peak after the 1949 rebuild with a total of 55 speaking stops.
This specification is detailed on the NPOR website,
NPOR Ref: N10606. The detached console is at the east end of the north aisle.
This was installed in 1980, during a rebuild by
R. Greaves of Plymouth, when, unfortunately,
the Solo department was reduced to only three stops, and made to be playable from the Choir manual.
The remaining Cavaillé-Coll Solo stops and their soundboards were removed, and the Scott Solo casing now only houses the Solo Tuba.
The Swell Hautboy is believed to be the only remaining original Cavaillé-Coll stop on the organ.
Only two organists were resident at the church during 73 years of the 20th century,
William Wykeham Trotman from 1902-1945, and Deryck Seymour from 1945-1975. Deryck Seymour
was a life member of our association,
see the "About Us" page for details.
There is a brief brochure on the organ and its specification available at the church, or to download
(PDF 256Kb) from: StMMORG04.pdf
To see the current NPOR details of this organ,
NPOR Index: D05207
If there any stops that you've never heard of, or wonder what they are, go to:
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