Southwell Minster Console

Southwell Minster

A church has occupied the site at Southwell since Anglo-Saxon times. However, in 1108, the Archbishop of York authorised the rebuilding the church and the building as we know it today was started. Very little of the early rebuild remains (on account of later construction) but, by the 1120s, work had reached the arches below the central tower which still survive. Southwell became the cathedral church for Nottinghamshire in 1888 and maintains a choir school and daily choral services to this day.

Organs by ‘Father’ Smith, Bishop, and Hill Norman & Beard pre-dated the current two instruments in the cathedral, the first of which was installed in the Nave in 1992.

Discussions regarding a new Screen Organ took place from 1989 and in 1994 Nicholson were invited to tender for the design of a tracker-action organ to fit within the existing 18th century-style screen case (1934, by Caroë).

The Screen Organ scheme was approved by the Cathedrals Fabric Commission in March 1995 and Nicholson commenced the work almost immediately. By mid-November, the organ was ready to be erected in the Minster and the work proceeded steadily into the New Year when three months of voicing and regulating began.

The specification, drawn up in consultation with Paul Hale, includes 46 new ranks and 21 ranks of Nicholson pipework from an 1868 tracker organ formerly housed in St Peter’s, Malvern Wells.

The console has a full complement of playing aids including a sequencer and stepper. The nave organ can be played from the screen organ console by means of the ‘Nave organ on’ and ‘Screen organ off’ drawstops.

The instrument was handed over on Maundy Thursday in preparation for the organ’s first appearance on Easter Day 1996. An opening series of concerts, featuring Roy Massey, John Scott, David Sanger, Paul Hale and Philip Rushforth, was held later that year.

Specification

Great
Bourdon
Large Open Diapason
Small Open Diapason
Stopped Diapason
Principal
Wald Flute
Fifteenth
Full Mixture IV 15.19.22.26
Sharp Mixture III 26.29.33
Trumpet
Tremulant

Choir (enclosed)
Viol d’Amour
Voix Celeste (T.C.)
Gedeckt
Gemshorn
Spitz Flute
Nazard
Fifteenth
Block Flute
Tierce
Larigot
Mixture III 19.22.26
Clarinet
Vox Humana
Tremulant

Swell
Open Diapason
Lieblich Gedeckt
Salicional
Vox Angelica (T.C.)
Principal
Nason Flute
Fifteenth
Sesquialtera II 12.17
Mixture III 15.19.22
Plein Jeu IV 19.22.26.29
Contra Posaune
Cornopean
Oboe
Clarion
Tremulant


16
8
8
8
4
4
2


8



8
8
8
4
2
22/3
2
2
13/5
11/3

8
8



8
8
8
8
4
4
2



16
8
8
4

Pedal
Subbass
Open Bass
Open Diapason
Bourdon
Principal
Bass Flute
Fifteenth
Mixture IV 19.22.26.29
Contra Posaune
Ophicleide
Bassoon

Solo
Concert Flute
Mounted Cornet V
   1.8.12.15.17
Bombarde
Tremulant

Couplers
Swell to Great
Swell Suboctave to Great
Choir to Great
Solo to Great
Solo Suboctave to Great
Swell to Choir
Swell Octave to Choir
Solo to Choir
Solo Suboctave to Choir
Great to Pedal
Swell to Pedal
Choir to Pedal
Solo to Pedal


32
16
16
16
8
8
4

32
16
16


4

 
4