An organ was built for the Cathedral by ‘Father’ Smith in 1684. It stood on the screen until 1861, when it was removed to a side chapel and a large three-manual organ was installed in the Jesus Chapel by Nicholson.
In 1871 a new organ was built by Hill & Son, the main part of which stood on the screen in a new case by Sir George Gilbert Scott. This organ was rebuilt by the same firm in 1910, with the majority of the organ divided each side of the choir stalls, and a second Great division on the screen. It was revoiced and altered by Harrison & Harrison in 1918.
In 1934, Harrison & Harrison carried out a further scheme of restoration and additions, with the provision of new electro-pneumatic action. The Choir Organ was enclosed and remodeled, and the small Father Smith organ was connected to the main console (while also remaining playable from its own keyboard).
In December 1940, the organ was partially destroyed in an air raid. The Swell, Solo and most of the Pedal organ were seriously damaged; the Great, Choir and Screen departments were only slightly harmed; and the console alone remained intact. The Father Smith organ was destroyed. In 1943 a temporary two-manual organ was constructed by Harrison & Harrison.
The present organ, which incorporates pipework of the 1934 organ, was installed between 1952 and 1957. The specification was drawn up by Norman Cocker, the Cathedral Organist, in consultation with the organ builders, with certain modifications suggested by his successor, Allan Wicks.
The organ stands within two westerly bays of the choir aisles. The Choir and Great organs are on the South side; the Well and Solo on the North; the Pedal on both sides, with the Open Woods and Ophicleides in the Jesus Chapel. A new console was placed in the chancel; the old console was retained and placed in the nave.
Restoration work was carried out in 1974 and 1979, when solid-state coupler and combination actions were provided. The console was removed and the chancel console rebuilt on the choir screen. A new sequencing system was installed in 1994.
Download detailed specification of the present Organ.
There are plans to build a new organ and house it on the pulpitum. Click here for details.