The John Loosemore organ case
Console from the organ loft.
EXETER CATHEDRAL ORGANS
The Cathedral Organ
The earliest mention of an organ in Exeter Cathedral is in the Fabric Roll of 1286 when a payment was made for casing the organ. In 1513 £165. 5s. 7½d was spent on a new organ to be placed on the screen.
John Loosemore was put in charge of the organ after the Restoration, and after visits to Cornwall, he completed the building of the new organ in Exeter Cathedral in 1665. It underwent several changes during the next two centuries, but the magnificent case has survived to this day, having been enlarged at the time of a radical rebuild by Henry Willis in 1891.
Harrison & Harrison rebuilt the organ and modernised the actions in 1931. The organ was renovated in 1965, with some tonal changes, including the addition of the Trompette in the Minstrels' Gallery. The organ was cleaned in 1985. In 2001, essential work was undertaken on the organ, which consisted of console renovation and localised repairs, together with renewal of the coupler and piston systems. At the same time, several new stops were provided: numbers 12, 14, 23 and 28. In 2003, a new section of the organ was installed in the Minstrels' Gallery. This part of the organ has its own blower switch and can be coupled to the main organ to assist with the accompaniment of large services in the Cathedral Nave.
To view the console from the organ loft, please click here
The Choir and Solo Organs are in the smaller cases facing east and west respectively; the Swell, Great and most of the Pedal are within the main case. The pipes of the Pedal Open Wood and the new half-length 32ft Contra Trombone lie horizontally within the north side of the pulpitum, and the console is on the south side. The lowest notes of the Pedal 32ft Contra Violone stand in the south transept. Our Cathedral Organists have made CD recordings of repertoire on the Cathedral Organ, these are on sale in the Cathedral Shop.
To view a stop list of Exeter Cathedral Organ, please click here
Work to restore the organ has now begun. For more information, please click here
The Chamber Organ
The Chamber Organ was dedicated at Evensong on Sunday 27th January 2008 and is currently housed near the Bishop's Throne in the Quire. The instrument is easily portable and can be used in any part of the building. It can be placed in the middle of a group of players without impeding sight-lines, and it can be adjusted to play at a variety of early pitches with authentic instruments. The Dean and Chapter commissioned Kenneth Tickell and Company based in Northampton to build the organ. Our new instrument has four stops or ranks of pipes:
- Stopped Diapason: 8 foot (Wood)
- Principal: - 4 foot (Metal)
- Chimney Flute 4 foot (Metal)
- Fifteenth 2 foot (Metal)
The casework is oak, matching the colour of our choirstalls. The wind is supplied by an internal blower, which is the only electrical component in the instrument. The fretwork replicates the passion-flower carving on the side of the Dean's stall.
Thanks go to the Cathedral Music Foundation Trust for funding a substantial part of the cost of this new organ. In addition, we have received warm support from Exeter Festival Chorus and Exeter Bach Society through fund-raising concerts. This lovely instrument will enhance the music of this Cathedral in the future, both liturgically and in the concert context.
To view a picture of the Chamber Organ in the Quire, please click here