Organs in Exeter Cathedral

The grand organ on the pulpitum screen

The main organ at Exeter Cathedral is a particularly fine example of English organ-building. In 1665 local organ builder John Loosemore created what has become one of the most distinctive and striking organ cases ever built; successive generations of organ builders have provided instruments of pedigree which have brought joy to all who have worshipped and attended performances.

In over three hundred years the organ has been expanded and updated to meet the ever changing musical demands of a living Cathedral, from the expansion and raising of Loosemore’s case and the moving of the impressive 32’ pipes to the South Transept, to the creation of an entirely new section of the organ in the Minstrels’ Gallery.

In January 2013 the organ was dismantled for major reconstruction of the internal layout; the Willis soundboards of 1891 were replaced, while the existing tonal scheme has been retained. It has been entirely reconstructed, with a new layout within the famous Loosemore case, achieving a better distribution of sound, together with improved access for tuning and maintenance.

This vital work has only been possible because of generous benefactors as well as those donors who have 'adopted a pipe'. Special thanks and appreciation go to Viridor Credits Environmental Company for their continuous support.

Other instruments

A 6 rank chamber organ by Samuel Parsons (built c. 1840) is used to lead services in the Lady Chapel, whilst in 2008 the Cathedral took delivery of a new chamber organ by Kenneth Tickell. 

Listen to the organ

The city of Exeter was one of the Host Cities for the 2015 Rugby World Cup. In celebration of the event David Davies made a video (improvising on Swing Low, Sweet Chariot) to demonstrate the Cathedral organ.

Information on forthcoming organ recitals will be listed on our What's On page.


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