An account of the history of
The Organs in Ormskirk Parish Church
Mark D Rawsthorn
The Organs in Ormskirk Parish Church
The first record of an organ in Ormskirk Parish Church dates from 1552, when an inventory reference is made to ‘The organs bought of the King’. Whether this is a reference to an organ bought from the King, or to an organ installed for the period in 1495 when Henry VII was resident at Lathom and worshipped in the church is not known. A more likely possibility is that the organ was removed from Burscough Priory at the Dissolution, when the property rights would have been assumed by The Crown. Ormskirk Church with its endowments had been bestowed on the Canons Regular of Burscough Priory (about two miles distant) by Robert, Lord Lathom, in 1189. In any case, an organ was already in use in the church in the mid-1500s . The use of the plural does not imply more than one instrument; this was common usage at the time, in the same way as we would now talk about ‘scissors’ or ‘trousers’ when referring to a single item. In any case, Ormskirk must have been unusual amongst small provincial towns in possessing an organ at all; in most cases, accompaniment of whatever music was involved in the liturgy would have been by other musical instruments. This was also common following the Restoration, by which time most pre-existing organs had been destroyed. Perhaps, though, having an organ in the church reflects the greater relative importance of Ormskirk as a town pre-1800; Mona Duggan tells us that a survey of rooms and stabling available in 1686 showed that Ormskirk had 64 beds whereas Wigan had only 33, indicating something of the relative sizes of the two towns. Many old churches did not invest in an organ until the c19, when a great wave of civic pride and patronage (often by incredibly wealthy industrialists) found, in the organ, a vehicle to demonstrate prestige. In Ormskirk, however, in 1679, reference is made to ‘one old organ case with some old organ pipes’ in the ‘bell house’. As these are obviously the remains of a previous instrument, no new organ-building occurring before the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660, they must be taken to be the remains of the organ mentioned in 1552, dismantled and stored in the tower during the Commonwealth.
Documents still extant make reference to repair work done in 1735 by one John Rogers of Chester, at the expense of Jane Brooke of Chorley, who is cited as the donor of the instrument. Although Mrs Brooke is referred to as, ‘of Chorley’, it would seem that this is merely a reference to her late husband’s family, being the Brookes of Astley Hall. Mrs Brooke (née Hesketh) was, in fact, a resident of Ormskirk, and was the aunt of Dame Elizabeth Stanley, wife of Sir Edward Stanley of Bickerstaffe, Bart., whose family chapel occupies the east end of the north aisle. Notes from the 1887 rebuild quote the original build date as 1726, although a painted board in the tower room at Ormskirk dates it at 1731, and says that the best pipework from the previous instrument was incorporated into the 1731 instrument*. The cost was £119 12s 4d. A vestry meeting decided that a salary not exceeding £25p.a. should be paid to an organist, coming from a levy on all those who paid the poor rate; those who paid were to have the right of appointment of the organist. The first Organist appointed thus was James Parrin. However, in Jane Brooke’s will of 1742, it was stated that there had been difficulties in raising sufficient money and she left £300 to the Earl of Derby to invest for the organist’s salary, the right of appointment resting with the Earl, suggesting that the descendants of Parrin might be suitable.
*An illustration of the case of this instrument is held in the Lancashire Record Office, Preston, and was uncovered by the celebrated organist, Lady Susi Jeans, whilst researching the Ormskirk organ, her husband, Sir James Jeans, the renowned astronomer (himself an amateur organist), having been born and baptised here.
In 1758, when the organ provided by Jane Brooke needed attention, a new instrument was commissioned from Richard Parker of Salford. This may have incorporated good pipework from the previous instrument, as was (and is) common practice. Parker was a partner in the firm of Glyn/Gwyn and Parker, and is mentioned in the will of Thomas Gwyn, organ builder of Shrewsbury, proved in January, 1754, i.e., before the Ormskirk Organ. With premises ‘At the sign of the organ’ in Chapel Street, Salford, and variously in partnership with Gwyn, he built many fine instruments, including those for St Ann’s Church, Manchester (the parish church) (1730), The Collegiate Church of Ss. Mary, Denys & George (now Manchester Cathedral) (1746), Rochdale Parish Church (St Chad’s) (1746), where he rebuilt the 1660 Dallam organ from Manchester Cathedral, and St Peter’s, Church Street, Liverpool (later the pro-cathedral) (1766). Parker also built the organ for All Hallows-the-Great, Thames Street, London (1749), where the famous c17 organist and composer William Boyce was Organist; a fact confirmed by the Vestry Records which state that the payment was made to Richard Parker, and not Thomas Parker, the contemporary London organ builder. Many sources also believe that it was Richard Parker, and not Thomas Parker, who was contracted by Handel to build the organ in the Foundling Hospital, London. George Ashdown Audsley, in his tome ‘The Art of Organ-Building’ (1905) concurs with this thinking, saying, ‘The most distinguished provincial builders at this period (first half of the eighteenth century) were Glyn and Parker, who, in partnership, carried on business at Salford, Manchester’ and, referring to the Foundling Hospital, continues, ‘Handel opened the latter organ; and it is believed that it was through his recommendation that the work was entrusted to Glyn and Parker, to the disappointment of the metropolitan builders.’ This final observation seems to point away from Thomas Parker, who would have fallen into that ‘disappointed’ category. Clearly, Ormskirk was in good company. Richard Bury, Organist of St Ann’s, Manchester, gave the opening recital on the Ormskirk organ in August 1758, as recorded in the Liverpool Courier. An account written within George Lea’s ‘Handbook to Ormskirk’ (1893) by former chorister and Organist Thomas Hariot (see below), recounts the situation at the time of his boyhood, 60 years earlier, and refers to the dark wood case and gilt pipes of the organ, saying that the tone of its flutes and diapasons were unrivalled, save in the old (sic) organ at Chester Cathedral. The Musical Times at the close of the nineteenth century says that in around 1850, a Mr Watts was appointed Organist and wrote a pamphlet on the history of the organ, which he said to have dated “from the time of Father Smith”, i.e., the late 1600’s. Certainly, the old (1758) case bears a resemblance to those by Harris or Smith. The article also states that his predecessor, Mr Heathcote, had been in post since 1794. However, there was some confusion here, as Heathcote was not Watts’s immediate predecessor; a plaque in the church records Heathcote’s death in 1835, at the age of 77, having been Organist there for 52 years, i.e., since 1783. In fact, during Michael Heathcote’s final illness, as his faculties failed, the playing was done by Thomas Hariot, who had been a boy soprano in the choir*, along with his father and grandfather. Hariot’s appointment was then ratified by a certificate of appointment from the Earl of Derby, the last organist to be so nominated. He appears to have been succeeded by George Watts. Incidentally, Watts’s thinking was that the instrument had been built by ‘John Harris’, son of the celebrated organ-builder Renatus Harris and grandson of organ-builder Thomas Harris who had returned from France after the Restoration. His rationale was that the case was an exact copy of one known to have been built by Harris (although which that was is not specified), and that the Stopped Diapason was made in metal, rather than in wood, a practice unusual in England and characteristic of Harris, “… and very pure and mellow it is.” We know that John Harris died in 1743 and his business was carried on by his brother-in-law, John Byfield. Might Harris have been the builder of the 1731 instrument? It would seem, at first sight, a tenuous link, especially as we know that the organ case described by Watts was not the original one, and was most likely constructed by Parker in 1758. However, the present-day organ restorer/historian Dominic Gwynn believes that the Gwyn and Parker partnership had roots in Thomas Swarbrick (or Schwarbrook) and Mark Anthony Dallam, both of whom had trained with Renatus Harris, John Harris’s father. They would, therefore, have been connected with, and of the same ‘generation’ as, John Harris. A further, and even more more tenuous connection, is that Thomas Dallam, who was considered the greatest organ builder of the late c16, and was grandfather of Renatus Harris and therefore great-grandfather of John Harris, was born in 1570, in the village of Dalton, about five miles from Ormskirk. Dallam had been sponsored by Queen Elizabeth I and, amongst other work was responsible for the organs in St George’s Chapel, Windsor, King’s College, Cambridge (where his organ case still stands on the screen), Worcester Cathedral and the Chapel Royal, Holyrood, Edinburgh.
*Incidentally, the choir at the time was ‘amateur and permanent’, and consisted of John Hariot (Leader and Tenor), George Hariot (son of John) (Bass), Thomas Hariot (son of George; the aforementioned boy soprano), John Sourbutt (Tenor), ‘the aged and venerable’ Stephen Houghton (Bass) and Ralph Balshaw (Alto).
The Swell Organ was added in 1796, paid for by members of the parish. In 1850, the organ was enlarged by Joseph Roome of Avenham Road, Preston, who carried the Swell down from Fiddle G to Tenor C, added pedals and a set of pedal pipes, along with a number of other stops.
Michael Ockenden states that there was an unsuccessful bid to move both organ and singers from the west gallery in 1840 and again in 1862; however, the organ was merely overhauled and enlarged in 1862. Robert Postill of York is recorded in 1872 as having rebuilt the instrument (he is also recorded as having built organs at St John’s Lathom – presumably Lathom Park Chapel although possibly St John’s RC Church, Burscough, whose official address is Lathom – and at St Helens), so this would seem very likely to be the work done in 1862. Postill did very little work in Lancashire and the only other jobs recorded are St John’s, Burscough Bridge (1859) and West End Congregational Church, Southport (1867). Some stops must have been added at this point, as they were ‘retained’ at the subsequent rebuild; notably the Clarabella, Clarionet and a 4’Flute.
William Denman of York was contracted to rebuild the organ in 1887, whilst a Mr Heild was standing in as Organist in George Watts’s absence. Denman had worked for Postill from c.1844 to 1864, so he had probably already worked on the Ormskirk instrument in Postill’s 1862 rebuild and this may explain the choice, Postill himself having died in 1882. The consultant appointed for the project was the 34-year-old Henry Hudson, F.R.C.O., A.R.C.M., L.R.A.M., L.T.C.L., Organist of Holy Trinity, Southport, and renowned as the premier musician of the town. Michael Ockenden contends that the work was not completed until 1894, but appears to be confusing two different episodes, as the Parish Magazine of October 1887 records the work as having commenced. Denman’s instrument is recorded as having incorporated stops from the previous instrument. The instrument apparently had the unusual feature of an Echo Organ enclosed in its own box, located within the main Swell box. The Echo Organ, however, was played from the Swell key-board. Ventils controlled the wind to the Swell and Echo organs. Three composition pedals were provided to Great & Pedal, and likewise three to Swell & Pedal. The metal pipes were (and remain) of best spotted metal and no zinc pipes were used. Wind pressures ranged from 1 ½” (Echo) through 2 ½” (Choir) and 3” (Great and Swell, to 4” (Pedal). The cheapest stops cost £7 10s., whereas the most expensive were priced at £50. The console is detailed as having keyboards and angled stop-jambs projecting from the case, i.e., an attached console. The pedalboard was radiating and concave. Furthermore, the case is stated as being from the previous instrument, although the present case, installed at a later date (but before 1895), appears to have been designed by Paley and Austin, the church architects at the building’s restoration. Interestingly, a photograph of the church in 1895 shows the stonework of the organ loft to be cantilevered out with a stone parapet, creating a loft of greater depth than that of the present wood-panel fronted one. Perhaps the greater depth was needed to accommodate the old case.
In 1894, Robert Hope-Jones’s Electric Organ Company, of Argyle Street, Birkenhead, rebuilt the organ, the work being sub-contracted back to Denman, and an article in ‘Musical Opinion’, June 1894, details the organ as built. Hope-Jones provided a mobile console for this instrument with the coupler-board and expression-shutter action; the rest appears to be Denman. Mobile consoles were a common feature of Hope-Jones’s work at this period, seemingly provided simply because it was possible! The mobile console appears on the 1895 photograph at the front of the nave, in the space latterly occupied by the lectern. Hope-Jones also included a ‘stop-switch’, being a device whereby the action of the stop-controls became temporarily isolated, allowing the organist to set up the next combination of stops at his leisure before power was restored to the controls and the stop-change effected. Three composition pedals were provided to each of Great, Swell and Pedal. The total weight of the organ was 15 tons. A 1500-core cable connected console to organ. Blowing was effected by a 3 horsepower gas engine, which also drove a dynamo to provide electric light to the chancel. The opening recital was given on 27th April, 1894, by Mr Arthur Mitchell of Scarborough, about whom nothing more is mentioned. An Arthur Mitchell had a store including a Post Office at Kingston Road and Birchmount, Scarborough, by 1907; furthermore, the Hope-Jones/Denman alliance had built the organ in Holy Trinity, Scarborough (with a mobile console on a 150’ cable!) only a year earlier, in 1893, so it is possible that Mitchell was the Organist of this church. Although we know nothing of Mitchell’s abilities, we do know that a new and well-qualified organist, Richard Pitcher, Mus. Bac. (Dunelm), F.R.C.O., A.R.C.M., was appointed to Holy Trinity in 1896, and it would be fairly safe to assume, in those days, that this would reflect the musical status of that church and, presumably, its appointees..
The 1894 work was not without criticism at the time; Walter Bernhard, who wrote a regular column entitled ‘Organana’ in ‘Musical Opinion’, wrote in that column, in November 1894:
“The pedal organ in the very fine instrument in Ormskirk Parish Church (the specification of which was published in the June number of this journal) presents a striking instance of wasted money. There is an octave coupler with the extra twelve notes. Well, when this coupler is drawn, with full pedal, this is the result; no stop of 32’, four of 16’, seven of 8’ and six of 4’. Now, with what possible objective was this designed? As a matter of course, octave passages appear in organ music to be played with both feet, and if an organist cannot play them properly, he had better turn his attention to pieces more suited to his powers. But surely all this additional work was not introduced to help incompetent organists? Yet what other use remains? As it stands, it can hardly be styled a pedal organ at all; only the lower octaves of a very ill-balanced great organ. In an organ of the size of that under notice (which has more than fifty stops), the presence of a 32’ stop is imperative, but there is not even a sub-bourdon, while eighty or ninety superfluous pipes have been thrust in as if for a mere freak.
The instrument was subsequently ‘rebuilt’ in 1897, only three years later, by Hope-Jones and E Franklyn Lloyd of Chester Street, Liverpool, who had also worked with Hope-Jones on a number of other instruments. At this point, the Vox Humana appears to have migrated from the Choir Organ to the Swell. A more confusing issue arises with the evidence in two undated photographs (one tinted) which show the original structure of the organ loft but with additional organ cases high in the extreme eastern corners of the Sanctuary. One might assume that these must have been controlled by electric action, i.e. post Hope-Jones, but there is no evidence at the moment as to what they contained, or when they were removed. Perhaps these were the subject of the work done in 1897 by Franklin Lloyd, but the question of what function they had still remains, as they appear to have contained a not unsubstantial amount of pipework additional to that in the present instrument. However, they do bear a resemblance to a Choir case installed in Thirsk, Yorkshire, by Denman in 1884, which instrument had also been built by Postill in 1877. There is no evidence as to what they contained, or when they were removed.
Organ recitals on the new ‘electric organ’ were delivered by a number of noted organists, examples of which include (quotations, where present, are from the announcements):
October 10th 1894; “Mr D Clegg gave a performance on the electric organ at the parish church”; programme:
– Symphonique Concertante – Widor
– Communion in D – Merkel
– Berceuse and Air varied – Clegg
– March of the Assyrians and Chorus of Worshippers (Judith) – Parry
– Lamentation in D minor – Guilmant
– Gand Fugue in G mino – Bach
– Short selection of French pieces:
– Dream Visions – Lumbye
– Chorus of Monks and Prayer (from Convent Music) – Renzi
– Chant de la Forge – Georges Stern
– Descriptive piece; Whisperings by the Shore – Clegg
– Overture – Wagner
(David Clegg was Organist of Littleborough Parish Church from 1890 and Borough Organist of Salford from 1907, giving regular concerts in such places as The Crystal Palace, Albert Hall and The Alexandra Palace. He was involved in other opening recitals, including one jointly with the celebrated blind organist, William Wolstenholme.)
November 1894; Mr W Silkstone-Dobson, L.R.A.M., L.Mus., T.C.L., Organist of Southport Parish Church (Christ Church) and subsequently Sub-Organist of St Peter’s, Eaton Square, London. No details of the programme presented are recorded.
November 20th 1896; W. Maynard Rushworth, Organist of Sefton Parish Church, and later of All Hallows, Allerton; programme:
– Variations on a theme of Handel – Lux
– Serenade – Schubert
– Prelude and Fugue in D – Bach
– Adagio Cantabile – Hopkins
– Offertoire – Batiste
– Lied – WM Rushworth
– March for a Church Festival – Best
March 1897; “On the electric organ at the parish church, Mr Jos. Ormesher, A.R.C.O., recently played the following:
– Cornelius March – Mendelssohn
– Study in B – Heller
– Pilgrims’ Chorus – Wagner
– Introduction and Allegro – Brown
– Andante and Allegro – Best
– Andante in B minor – Batiste
– Allegretto (Fourth Sonata) – Mendelssohn
– Offertoire in F – Wély
– Cavatina – Raft
– Cantilène and Grande Choeur – W Faulkes
The organ was rebuilt in its present form in 1927 by Rushworth and Dreaper, through a generous donation from George Blundell, Esq., adding a small number of new ranks, including the Tuba (playable on Choir and Great). All ranks are independent, except for the 32’ Acoustic, one 8’ Pedal extension and the duplexing of the Tuba. This non-use of extension or ‘borrowing’, even in the Pedal Organ (where, furthermore, an extra octave of pipes is provided to each rank for use with the Octave coupler), is lavish in the extreme, and a feature generally found on only the best, even of cathedral organs. Interestingly, the soundboards for both the Great and Swell Mixtures are bored out for five ranks, as per the 1894 build, although only three ranks remain in each case. The stop-knobs showing ‘III’ appear contemporaneous with the others, the implication being that two ranks on each have been removed at or before the 1927 rebuild; maybe a function of the musical tastes of the time. Wind pressures also appear to have been raised at the time to their present levels, as follows:
Pedal flues: 4½ ”
Pedal reeds: 10”
Great (light wind) 4½ ”
Great (heavy wind)6”
Great Tuba 10”
Swell (light wind) 5”
Swell (heavy wind) 10”
The Great, Swell and Pedal speak into the Chancel through a very small aperture (the case belies the size of the opening) and the effect at the console is very different, in terms of balance, from that heard in the building. Furthermore, both divisions of the Choir Organ speak down the North Aisle, again upsetting the balance from the organist’s point of view.
In more recent years, the pneumatic action has been electrified and the piston system completely renewed with a capture system, giving 8 pistons to each department (except the Choir, which has only 6) and 8 generals, all available at 8 levels. The Organ remains, at 56 speaking stops and 72 registers, the largest pipe organ in a parish church in the Diocese of Liverpool and in the County of Lancashire.
The Specifications of the 1887 instrument, its 1894 amendments and the organ in its present form appear appended to the end of this account.
It should be noted, however, that some of that intended for re-use and denoted by asterisks on the specifications appears to have been replaced, either at the time, or possibly soon afterwards, by new work.
Ormskirk Parish Church
i. The ‘Brooke’ Organ of 1731, rebuilt by Parker (1758); Swell added 1796; pedals and additional stops (marked + below) added 1850 by Joseph Roome of Preston
Great Compass GG to F
1 Open Diapason no 1
2 Open Diapason no 2 +
3 Stopt Diapason
8 Sesquialtra (sic)
9 Open Pedal Pipes; 1½ octaves to GGG +
Swell Compass Tenor C to F
10 Double Diapason +
11 Open Diapason
12 Stopt Diapason
15 Cornet (3 ranks)
16 Horn +
2 composition pedals, couplers, etc.
Ormskirk Parish Church
ii. The Organ by Denman of York 1887/ Hope-Jones 1894
incorporating pipework (*) from the previous instrument (1731/58 & 1862)
Pedal Compass-low C-high g1 32 notes
1 Double Open Diapason* /16 Open Diapason
2 Dulciana 16 /Open Diapason (spare)
/10 2/3 Quint
3 Violone 16 /Violone
4 Bourdon 16 /Bourdon
5 Violincello 8 /Violoncello
6 Flute 8 /Flute
7 Trombone 16 /Ophicleide
8 Pedal Octave Pedal Superoctave
9 Swell to Pedal Swell to Pedal
10 Great to Pedal Great to Pedal
11 Choir to Pedal Choir to Pedal
Choir Compass-low C-high a3 58 notes
16 Lieblich Gedacht
12 Open Diapason*(ex Gt.) 8 /Open Diapason
13 Clarabella* 8 –
14 Lieblich Gedact 8 /Lieblich Gedacht
/8 Viola da Gamba
15 Dolce 8 /Dolce
16 Flauto Traverso (triangular) /8 Flauto Traverso
17 Harmonic Flute, TC*(ex Gt.) 4 /Harmonic Flute
18 Lieblich Flute* 4 /Lieblich Gedacht
19 Gemshorn 4 /Gemshorn
20 Flageolet 2 /Flautina
21 Clarionet, TC* 8 /Clarionet
22 Vox Humana (with Tremulant) 8 –
23 Swell to Choir /Swell to Choir (double touch)
Swell Superoctave to Choir
Great Compass-low C-high a3 58 notes
24 Double Open Diapason 16 /Double Open Diapason
25 Open Diapason 1 8 /Open Diapason
26 Open Diapason 2 8 /Open Diapason
27 Bell Gamba 8 /Gamba
28 Flute Harmonic 8 /Harmonic Flute
29 Stopt Bass and Clarabel Treble 8 /Claribel Flute
30 Doppel Flute 8 /Doppel Flöte
31 Principal 4 /Principal
32 Harmonic Flute 4 /Harmonic Flute
33 Nason Flute 4 /Nason Flute
34 Twelfth 2 2/3 /Twelfth
35 Fifteenth 2 /Fifteenth
36 Mixture III /Mixture (V)
37 Trumpet 8 /Trumpet
38 Clarion 4 /Clarion
39 Swell to Great /Swell to Great Suboctave
40 Choir to Great /Swell to Great (double touch)
/Swell to Great Superoctave
Choir to Great
Swell Compass-low C-high a3 58 notes Enclosed
41 Lieblich Bourdon 16 /Lieblich Bourdon
42 Open Diapason 8 /Open Diapason
43 Violin Diapason 8 –
8 Hohlflote (8)
44 Salicional 8 /Salicional
/8 Vox Angelica
/8 Voix Celestes
45 Rohr Flute /8 Rohr Flute
46 Viola 4 /Viola
47 Suabe Flute 4/ Suabe Flöte
48 Twelfth 2 2/3 /Twelfth
49 Harmonic Piccolo 2 /Harmonic Piccolo
50 Mixture IV /Mixture (V)
51 Contra Fagotto 16 /Contra Fagotto
52 Horn 8 /Horn
53 Oboe 8 /Oboe
/8 Vox Humana
54 Clarion 4 –
Echo Compass-low C-high a3 58 notes Enclosed
55 Dolce 8 –
56 Vox Celeste 2 ranks 92 pipes, grooved bass 8 –
57 Dolce Mixture III –
Ormskirk Parish Church
ii as rebuilt by Rushworth & Dreaper, 1927
* denotes stop apparently from 1887/94 organ
** denotes stop claimed to be from 1731/58/97 & 1850/62 instrument
Pedal Compass-low C-high f1 30 notes
1 Acoustic Bass 32 (from no. 2)
2 Open Diapason** 16
3 Violone* 16
4 Bourdon* 16
5 Octave 8 (ext. 2)
6 Violoncello* 8
7 Flute* 8
8 Ophicleide* 16
9 Trumpet 8
11 Choir to Pedal
12 Great to Pedal
13 Swell to Pedal
†an extra top octave of pipes is provided to each rank for use with the Octave coupler
Choir Compass-low C-high c4 61 notes. Part enclosed
14 Lieblich Gedackt 16
15 Open Diapason** 8
16 Flauto Traverso* 8
17 Viola de Gamba 8
18 Dolce* 8
19 Harmonic Flute** 4
20 Gemshorn* 4
21 Flautina* 2
22 Lieblich Gedackt* 8
23 Lieblich Flute** 4
24 Orchestral Oboe 8
25 Clarinet* 8
27 Tuba 8 (Unenclosed)
28 Swell to Choir
29 Unison Off
30 Sub Octave
Great Compass-low C-high c4 61 notes.
32 Double Diapason* 16
33 Open Diapason 1 8
34 Open Diapason 2* 8
35 Open Diapason 3* 8
36 Doppel Flute* 8
37 Hohl Flute 8
38 Dulciana 8
39 Principal* 4
40 Harmonic Flute* 4
41 Nason Flute* 4
42 Twelfth* 2 2/3
43 Fifteenth* 2
44 Mixture* III
45 Trombone 16
46 Trumpet* 8
47 Clarion* 4
48 Tuba 8
49 Gt and Ped Combs Coupled
50 Choir to Great
51 Swell to Great
Swell Compass-low C-high c4 61 notes. Enclosed
52 Lieblich Bourdon* 16
53 Open Diapason* 8
54 Geigen Diapason* 8
55 Rohr Flute* 8
56 Viol de Orchestra 8
57 Voix Celestes* 1887 Echo Organ 8
58 Vox Angelica* 1887 Salicional? 8
59 Principal 4
60 Suabe Flute* 4
61 Twelfth* 2 2/3
62 Harmonic Piccolo* 2
63 Mixture* III
64 Oboe* 8
65 Vox Humana* f1887 Choir Organ 8
66 Contra Fagotto* 16
67 Horn* 8
68 Clarion* 4
70 Unison Off
71 Sub Octave
(In addition to the primary sources within Ormskirk Parish Church, and the photographic archive held there)
Audsley, George Ashdown (1905) The Art of Organ-Building New York, Dover Publications, p.82
Beechey, Gwilym (1971) Memoirs of Dr. William Boyce The Musical Quarterly, Vol. 57, No. 1 (Jan., 1971), pp. 87-106; Oxford, OUP
Bennett, Joseph (1898) Recollections of Watts’ ,in Facts, Rumours and Remarks The Musical Times and Singing Class Circular, Vol 39, No. 666 (Aug.1, 1898), pp 526-527; London, Musical Times
Bernhard, Walter (1895) Organana Musical Opinion, November, 1895
Body Text, 1894? Ormskirk Parish Church Magazine Ormskirk, Ormskirk Parish Church (private collection)
Body Text, August, 1887 Ormskirk Parish Church Magazine Ormskirk, Ormskirk Parish Church (private collection)
Body Text, July 1887 Ormskirk Parish Church Magazine Ormskirk, Ormskirk Parish Church (private collection)
Body Text, March 1887 Ormskirk Parish Church Magazine Ormskirk, Ormskirk Parish Church (private collection)
Body Text, October 1887 Ormskirk Parish Church Magazine Ormskirk, Ormskirk Parish Church (private collection)
Body Text, September, 1887 Ormskirk Parish Church Magazine Ormskirk,
Clutton, Cecil and Niland, Austin (1963) The British Organ London, Batsford
Dawe, Donovan (1968) New Light on William Boyce The Musical Times, Vol. 109, No. 1507 (Sep., 1968), pp. 802-807
Duggan, Mona (1998) Ormskirk – the making of a modern town Stroud, Sutton Publishing
Duggan, Mona (2007) Ormskirk – A History Chichester, Phillimore
Duggan, Mona (2011) The people of Ormskirk Stroud, Amberley
Elvin, Lawrence (1986) Family Enterprise; the story of some north-contry organ builders Lincoln, Elvin (privately published)
Fox, David H. (1992) Robert Hope-Jones The Organ Historical Society, Richmond, Virginia
Franklyn Lloyd, Edward Advertising Feature Musical Standard, 1897
Griffiths, David (1992) A Musical Place of the First Quality – A history of institutional music-making in York, c.1550 – 1990 York, York Settlement Trust
Gwynn, Thomas (1755) Last Will and Testament of Thomas Gwynn London, Probate Office (Proved 28 Jan 1755)
Hope-Jones, Robert Advertising Feature Musical Opinion, December, 1894
Jeans, Lady Susi (1980) Three Lancashire Organs The Organ, Vol. 59, 234, (October 1980), Bournemouth, Musical Opinion Ltd.
Baptism Records, 1854 Lancashire Online Parish Clerk Project http://www.lan-opc.org.uk/
Lea, George (1893) Handbook to Ormskirk Ormskirk, Hutton (The Ormskirk Advertiser)
Matthews, Charles The Organs and Organists of St. Mary, Warwick Warwick, PCC of Warwick St Mary’s
Ockenden, Michael (1996) Notes for Doctoral Thesis Liverpool, Liverpool University (unpublished manuscript)
Recitals Recent Recitals Musical Opinion, December, 1895
Recitals Recent Recitals Musical Opinion, November, 1895
Recitals Recent Recitals Musical Opinion, June, 1894
Recitals Recent Recitals Musical Opinion, April, 1897
Rushworth & Dreaper (1928) Advertising Feature Musical Opinion, June 1928
Sayer, Dr Michael (1970) James Davis and the Lancashire Organ Builders The Musical Times, Vol. 111, No. 1528 (Jun., 1970), pp. 645-647+649, London, Musical Times Publications, Ltd
Sayer, Dr. Michael (1981) New Light on Hope-Jones The Organ, Vol.60, 235 (January 1981), Bournemouth, Musical Opinion Ltd.
Spreling, Rev. John Hanson Notebooks R.C.O. Library
Sumner, William Leslie (1973) The Organ(4th Edition) London, MacDonald
Thornsby, Frederick W Dictionary of Organs and Organists Bournemouth, H. Logan, 1912
Thornton, K. (1990) Ormskirk Parish Church; A Guide and Short History (Revised), Ormskirk, PCC of Ormskirk Parish Church
Wickens, David C, Compiler (2005) Directory of British Organ Builders British Institute of Organ Studies, http://www.bios.org.uk/npor.html)
Significant dates in the history of the organ in Ormskirk Parish Church
1552 Inventory of King Edward VI mentions ‘Organ bought of the King’.
1679 ‘Old organ case with some old organ pipes’ stored in the ‘bell house’, i.e., tower.
1731 New organ provided by Mrs Jane Brooke, incorporating the best of the pipework from the previous instrument; James Parrin appointed as first Organist.
1742 Endowment of Organist’s salary; Earl of Derby as trustee.
1758 New organ commissioned from Richard Parker of Salford (of Glyn/Gwyn and Parker).
1797 Swell Organ added
1840 Unsuccessful bid to remove singers and organ from the west gallery.
1850 Additional stops and Pedal Organ added by Roome of Preston
1862 Organ rebuilt by Robert Postill of York, at a time when William Denman was working for him.
1887 Organ rebuilt in new chancel chamber by William Denman of York, to specification substantially as at present.
1894 Organ electrified by Denman, sub-contracted from Robert Hope-Jones of Birkenhead; mobile console provided.
1897 Further work on the organ by E Franklin Lloyd of Liverpool.
1915 New cabling by Gray and Davison.
1927 Organ rebuilt with tubular pneumatic action by Rushworth and Dreaper, Liverpool. Tuba added.
1960’s Organ renovated by Rushworth and Dreaper
1993 Key action converted to electropneumatic by David Wells, Liverpool.
1995 Electronic stops added to Pedal Organ.
2001 Electronic additions removed and bass stop-jamb restored to original condition.