Usk – St Mary’s Priory Church

The priory of St Mary’s, Usk, was famed for its shrine of St Radegund and became a popular pilgrim site. The nave and north aisle of the priory church have served as the parish church since the Dissolution. The priory church still has its medieval rood screen which is embellished with a carving of the Virgin Mary.

The organ was built in 1860-61 by the eminent firm Gray & Davison for Llandaff Cathedral and was dismantled in 1898 and re-erected at the Priory Church, Usk, in 1900. It is a rare untouched example of Gray & Davison’s work and is a particularly fine and unusual specimen of 19th century organ building. Alterations were made to the fine teak case and the Pedal division was possibly re-arranged and put on a pneumatic action to suit the new location.

Apart from tuning and the addition of the Swell tremulant in the 1940s, no significant alterations were made until 1966 when Rushworth & Dreaper recovered the manual keys, replaced the straight pedalboard with one of modern design, replaced the stop knobs and fitted a balanced swell pedal in place of the trigger swell pedal.

However, by 2005 the organ was in a poor state of repair, mainly due to financial constraints, and Nicholson & Co was commissioned to carry out an historic restoration and thorough cleaning and overhaul.

The restoration to bring it back to its 1900 condition was completed in 2006.

Specification

Great
Bourdon
Open Diapason
Gamba
Stopped Diapason
Principal
Harmonic Flute
Twelfth
Fifteenth
Mixture III
Trumpet

Choir
Double Diapason
Spitz Flute
Claribel Flute (tenor C)
Dulciana (tenor C)
Stopped Diapason Bass
Gemshorn
Flute
Piccolo
Clarinet (tenor C)


16
8
8
8
4
4
22/3
2

8


16
8
8
8
8
4
4
2
8

Swell
Double Diapason
Open Diapason
Stopped Diapason
Keraulophon
Gemshorn
Fifteenth
Mixture II
Cornopean
Oboe
Clarion

Pedal
Open Diapason
Bourdon
Principal
Trombone

Couplers
Swell to Great
Choir to Great
Swell to Choir
Great to Pedal
Swell to Pedal
Choir to Pedal

16
8
8
8
4
2

8
8
4


16
16
8
16