The Organ

The organ case was designed by the builders, Peter Collins, in close co-operation with the architects, Laurence King and Partners, and though painted is constructed in mahogany in its main parts with pine-cored block wood for its panels. The case has a tonal function as well as an architectural one, mixing the sound of the various pipes, then projecting it forwards as a blended whole. The specification was drawn up by David Butterworth and is almost identical to that of St. Mary's, High Pavement in Nottingham.

The pipes, of which there are 1634, are of various materials ranging in tin content from 90% in the façade pipes to 20% for some of the flute stops. Copper and pine are also used for certain other registers. With the exception of 24 small pipes in the pedal case, all the front pipes are speaking. The reed pipes are by Giesecke of Germany; the flues by Stinkins of Holland and Peter Collins; the Cymbelstern is from Laukhuff, also of Germany.

The console, situated at the foot of the central display pipes is constructed of oak; the naturals are of hard ‘blackwood' and the accidentals are white resin topped. The manual compass is of 56 notes; the pedal compass of 30 notes (radiating and concave).
The style of voicing and the general approach to the construction has its origins in the 17th and 18th centuries, rather than the more familiar instrument to be found in England. The balance of stops is in keeping with classical registration and the ‘Werk-Prinzip' of the case is designed to project the sound into the Priory building.

For the mechanism of the key and pedal action, direct connection by trackers of thin wood are used to the control valves, giving the performer control over the attack and decay of each note. The stop action is electric with six pistons to each department at selectable levels performing the function of a ‘stepper'.

Viewing the organ, the Great (on the lower manual) division is to the left; the Swell division central and the Pedal division to the right. The top few notes of the 32' Sordun (half and quarter length) are housed in the central case roof.