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Chichester Cathedral Organ

The organ at Chichester Cathedral contains pipework by many famous English builders, including Renatus Harris, George Pike England and the Hill family.

View of Organ
View of Organ

Originally mounted on the rood screen, it was moved to the north transept shortly before the disastrous collapse of the spire in 1861, thus escaping serious damage.

The magnificent double case, designed by Dr. Arthur Hill, was added in 1888, incorporating some decorated display pipes from the 1678 instrument by Harris. It is one of the finest examples of Hill's work but unfortunately was never more than a fa├žade, leaving the sides and back of the instrument exposed.  When Hele of Plymouth finally enlarged the organ in the early years of the 20th century, the Swell box was cantilevered precariously backwards, and the appearance from the aisles and transept left much to be desired.

In its final form, the organ had three manuals and 35 stops, although a small fourth manual had been prepared for by Hill, but never installed. From 1904 the action was tubular pneumatic, although the stops had been converted to electric operation in the 1950s.  It was the failure of this final modification which led to the unreliability which brought about the temporary abandoning  of the instrument between 1973 and 1986.  During this time, the services were accompanied by an Allen electronic organ, now transferred to the west end for occasional use in concerts.

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The Royal Chantry, Cathedral Cloisters, Chichester, West Sussex PO19 1PX - ECRR Number X6489