BRIXWORTH ORGAN


Prior to the mid 1800s, music in the majority of churches was provided by small groups of musicians playing various combinations of viols, recorders,violins, clarinets, oboes, bugles and so on, only the larger town or city churches being able to afford organs or even organists. It was also widely expected that choirmasters would write hymn tunes, psalm chants, anthems etc., and accompaniment scores for the instrumentalists; a certain John Munden of Brixworth being regarded as a particularly accomplished composer (c. 1760 - 1820). Another, William Blundell from the nearby village of  Walgrave, is accredited with a considerable output, of which a number of manuscripts are extant including numerous hymn tunes named after local villages including one named "Brixworth".

Somwhere around 1864, Holdich of London built an organ for All Saints' Church which stood in the bay to the East of the present instrument. Interestingly, George Maydwel Holdich was born in the village of Maidwell just a few miles North of Brixworth and probably because of his local connections built a number of organs in the County.

However, in 1885 it was replaced by the present instrument - a two manual pedal organ by Joshua Porritt of Leicester positioned on the South side of the choir. The specification remained until 1973 when the instrument was cleaned and overhauled by Alfred Davies Ltd of Northampton, the work incorporating the replacement of the old ratchet swell pedal with a balanced pedal. The old handle at the rear of the organ used to manually pump the bellows was left in situ and was used to good effect during the period of national power-cuts in the 1970s.

In addition, the opportunity was taken to brighten the tonality by adding a two rank mixture to the swell and a twelth to the great. To make room for the mixture on the swell soundboard it was necessary to remove the 16ft bourdon which was felt to be a price worth paying for the extra brightness a mixture would provide. However, it wasn't lost, because the suggestion was made to use the pipes to create a 5ft quint to the pedal division. That rank of pipes was mounted high up on the West side of the organ case.

The specification is as follows,

GREAT

 

SWELL

 
Open Diapason 8ft Open Diapason 8ft
Dulciana 8 Vox Angelica 8ft
Gamba 8 Voix Celestes

8ft

Stopped Diapason 8 Leiblich Gedact 8
Principal 4 Principal 4
Twelfth 22/3 (1973) Rhorr Flute

4

Fifteenth 2 Flautino 2
    Mixture 19.22.  (1973)

PEDAL

  Cornopean 8
Bourdon 16ft    
Bass Flute

8

   
Quint 51/3    (1973)    
       

COUPLERS

 

ACCESSORIES

 
Swell to Pedal   3 Combination Pedals to Great  
Swell to Great   3 Combination Pedals to Swell  
Swell Octave to Great   Great to Pedal  
Great to Pedal   Balanced Swell Pedal  

 

 

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