Monday, December 05, 2016
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St Mary's, West Harptree

Organ Console:-

Console and Pipes:-


The Organ at St Mary’s Church, West Harptree           12 July 2008
The organ was built in 1891 for West Harptree church by William Sweetland of Bath at the expense of Revd George Pridham.  The cost was £183-0s-0d, which included provision to extend the pedal organ from c – f1 at a later date.  The pedal is now complete with 30 notes.  Percy Daniel of Clevedon carried out unspecified work in 1939 at a cost of £24-0s-0d, and in 1992 Roger Taylor of Burrington restored the instrument without making any alterations.  The British Institute of Organ Studies issued a Grade II Historical Organ Certificate in 2008.  An electric blower was provided, probably in the 1930s, and its gift is recorded on a brass plate near the console inscribed as follows: ‘The organ blower was installed to the Glory of God and in loving memory of Elizabeth Cook Head Mistress of West Harptree School from December 6th 1892 till August 1925 and Organist for 33 Years in this church’.

The stops are as follows
Great (C – g3)
Open Diapason                       8ft
Clarabella                                 8ft
Dulciana                                  8ft
Flute                                        4ft
Swell (C – g3)
Open Diapason                       8ft
Lieblich                                    8ft
Principal                                  4ft
Oboe                                       8ft
Pedal (C – f1)
Bourdon                                16ft
Swell to Great
Great to Pedals

This is one of nine small two manual organs with similar specifications made by Sweetland mostly in the last decade of his working life, and is the only one that has his patent Swell mechanism intact. 

Remarkably, this organ has survived without alteration.  Although it has limited tonal range it is well constructed, copes admirably with accompanying a congregation and is capable of rendering works written for instruments of this period in a musical way.  It is a worthy example of a type of organ which is increasingly threatened by closure of country chapels and churches.

David Nash

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