St Martins Low Marple

The Organ

The organ at St. Martin's was made by Henry Willis and Sons Ltd, one of the oldest and most famous English of organ builders. There were four generations of Henry Willises. The first (1821-1901) is known as "Father Willis" and our organ dates from his time in control. Willis achieved public notice with a big organ which he displayed at the Great Exhibition in London in 1851. He went on to create more "monster" organs, notably at St George's Hall, Liverpool (1854-5), the Royal Albert Hall (1871) and St Paul's Cathedral (1872).

Willis also produced organs for smaller churches.  An advocate for these was the Rev John Baron, rector of Upton Scudamore, Wiltshire, who published a book which included designs for small organ cases (with only two or three ranks of pipes) by the distinguished architect, G.E.Street.  The Willis firm produced more than two hundred "Scudamore" organs.  St. Martin's organ is bigger than a Scudamore, but well adjusted to the size of the church, and most of the organ repertoire up to the late 19th century can be comfortably played on it. 

Our organ was completed by Willis in time for the opening of the church in 1870. At that time it consisted of just ten stops, with one pedal stop and only 25 pedals. In 1898 Keates of Sheffield added three stops to the Swell and a hydraulic blowing engine powered by mains water pressure. Henry Willis and Sons renovated the organ in 1911, fitting a full 30 note pedalboard and extending the Pedal Bourdon to allow for a Bass Flute 8'. They returned in 1939 to fit an electric blower. 

A complete restoration of the organ was carried out by Wood of Huddersfield in 1992 when a Fifteenth was added to the Swell. 



Great Size
Open Diapason 8
Claribel Flute  8
Dulciana 8
Principal 4
Flute Harmonique 4
Fifteenth 2
Open Diapason 8
Viol di Gamba 8
Vox Celeste 8
Lieblich Gedackt 8
Principal 4
Fifteenth 2
Cornopean   8
Bourdon  16
Bass Flute 8


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