Bridlington Priory - Chancel Case

Bridlington Priory, Yorkshire

Once one of the largest and wealthiest churches in the country, Bridlington’s Priory Church even boasted its own fleet of ships for the delivery of merchandise such as wool. The town flourished around the Priory and it became a centre of pilgrimage for many. The extensive buildings suffered terribly during the Dissolution of the monasteries and now all that remains is the nave. Even so, it is an imposing edifice.

The organ built by Charles Anneessens of Belgium, in 1889, was suitably heroic. It is believed to have had the largest single soundboard and the largest 32ft reed stop in the country.

Successive enlargements by Abbott & Smith (1906), Hill, Norman & Beard (1922), Compton (1949) and Laycock & Bannister (1968) doubled the organ’s size. Whilst the overall sound was impressive, the proliferation of chests, actions and bellows resulted in an organ that was increasingly unreliable and expensive to maintain. In addition, the Anneessens Great pipework was muffled by later additions, becoming only feebly audible in the church. The mechanism and soundboards had become fundamentally unsound and would have continued to be a drain on the Priory’s finances unless the problems had been addressed.

The work carried out by Nicholson & Co in 2005/2006 provided a new organ within the existing case reusing the old pipes. Mechanically, the organ is entirely new, including building frame, soundboards and wind system. The layout was rationalised so that most ranks were placed on new slider soundboards; thus much of the extension was eliminated and the number of note actions was halved. The final specification has 75 speaking stops, of which 15 are new; there are over 4,700 pipes, including many new ranks.

The consultant for Bridlington Priory was Paul Hale and the project was completed by Easter 2006.

Specification

Great
Dbl Open Diapason
Bourdon
Open Diapason I
Open Diapason II
Open Diapason III
Violon*
Flûte Harmonique
Bourdon
Octave
Principal
Ocarina
Octave Quint
Twelfth
Super Octave
Piccolo
Cornet 1.8.12.15.17 m.c.*
Fourniture 19.22.26
Sharp Mixture 26.29.33
Bombarde
Trompette
Clairon
Tremulant

Swell
Lieblich Bourdon
Open Diapason
Stopped Diapason
Viola de Gamba
Voix Celeste (T.C.)
Geigen Principal
Flûte Harmonique
Fifteenth
Sesquialtera 12.17*
Mixture 15.19.22*
Plein Jeu 19.22.26.29
Double Basson
Trompette
Basson*
Hautbois
Clairon
Tremulant

Couplers
Solo Octave
Solo Suboctave
Solo Unison Off
Swell Octave
Swell Suboctave
Swell Unison Off
Solo to Great
Swell to Great
Positive to Great
Solo to Swell
Solo to Positive
Swell to Positive
Solo to Pedal
Swell to Pedal
Great to Pedal
Positive to Pedal

16
16
8
8
8
8
8
8
4
4
4
2 2/3
2 2/3
2
2
V
III

III
16
8
4


16
8
8
8
8
4
4
2
II
III
IV
16
8
8
8
4

Positive
Open Diapason
Gedackt
Principal
Koppelflöte
Nazard*
Fifteenth*
Blockflöte
Tierce*
Larigot
Mixture 22.26.29.33*
Cromorne*
Tremulant
Tromba
Tromba Clarion

Solo (enclosed)
Viole d’Orchestre
Viole Celeste (T.C.)
Flûte Harmonique*
Clarinet
Cor Anglais*
Voix Humaine
Tremulant

Solo (unenclosed)
Tromba (from Pos.)
Tuba Mirabilis

Pedal
Double Grosse Flöte
Double Soubasse
Grosse Flöte
Open Diapason*
Soubasse
Bourdon*
Flöte
Principal
Flûte basse
Fifteenth*
Flûte
Mixture 19.22.26.29
Contra Tuba
Tubasson
Trombone*
Tromba
Schalmei

8
8
4
4
2 2/3
2
2
1 3/5
1 1/3
IV
8

8
4


8
8
4
8
8
8



8
8


32
32
16
16
16
16
8
8
8
4
4
IV
32
16
16
8
4