Church organs

The organ at St Mary’s, Shrewton

Compass: Four and a half octaves. CCC to f3

Stops:

  • Pedal Pipes
  • Pedal Coupler
  • Open Diapason
  • Stopped Diapason Bass and Clarinet Flute*
  • Dulciana
  • Principal
  • Fifteenth

*Here is the entry from my rather old (1905) Dictionary of Organ Stops which may be of use to any visiting organists: ‘CLARINET FLUTE-8 ft. tone.

A fairly large-scaled stopped pipe, differing from the ordinary Gedeckt in that the hole through the stopper is larger, the stopper often longer, the mouth lower, the nicking finer and the lip thinner. The large hole in the stopper relieves the tone of undue development of the twelfth, and a reedy, growling tone, by no means unpleasant, and even somewhat suggestive of the Clarinet (by reason of the odd-numbered partials being mainly present), is produced. Light winding is advisable. The stop was probably invented, and certainly perfected, by Messrs Gray and Davison, in whose work many examples are still to be found. There is a successful instance in the Great at St Joseph Roman Catholic church at Stockport. Bishop also used the stop. The tone is very difficult to preserve, and to control, throughout the compass. Christ Church, in Macclesfield; Centenary Methodist Church in Boston, Lincolnshire, St Margaret’s Brighton, Bombay Town Hall, Bishop, all contain examples by Gray and Davison. The term Clarinet Flute is often merely a misnomer for Rohrfloete.’

Pitch: c 517.3 continental

Builders: Gray and Davidson (formerly Gray and Son) were active as organ builders between 1842 and 1973. H Williams rebuilt it in 1860 and the National Pipe Organ register does have an entry for it (although that hasn’t been updated since 1949).

Photos and audio to follow

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