Plumtree St Mary


Organ caseThe organ was installed in 1880 and was the gift of William Elliott Burnside, a relative of the Rector, William Burnside. It was made by Wordsworth and Maskell, of Leeds.

The original manuals had the black and white notes reversed. This feature was sometimes specified by architects, designers or patrons in the late 19th century and may have been G F Bodley’s idea. The manuals were reinstated when the organ was rebuilt in 2005.

The very ornate, painted and gilded, organ case was designed by Revd Frederick H Sutton while he was Rector of Brant Broughton, Lincolnshire, birthplace of Revd William Burnside’s wife Fanny.

When the organ was rebuilt by Wragg of Nottingham in the 1950s the original tracker action was dismantled and replaced by pneumatic action. The high wind pressure needed to work the pneumatics made the pitch of the organ about a semitone sharp. The 2005 restoration included the installation of a modern tracker action. Most of the organ pipes are actual sounding pipes, not just for show.

The 2005 rebuilding was done by Principal Pipe Organs of York. In addition to major repairs to the soundboard and replacement of worn out parts, a new Fifteenth 2ft rank stop was provided in place of the Dulciana 8 ft.

From 1879:

Specification of proposed new Organ for Plumtree Church, near Nottingham

To consist of two full Manuals and separate Pedal Organ.

Stops as follows:

Choir Organ        CC - G 56 notes
1.    Open Diapason 8 feet tone 56
2. Stopp’d Diapason 8 feet tone 56
3. Dulciana (Grooved base) 8 feet tone 44
4. Flute - Wald or Harmonic 4 feet tone 56
5. Gemshorn 4 feet tone 56
6. Cremona 8 feet tone 44
       No. of pipes in Choir Organ 312
Swell Organ        CC - G 56 notes
7. Lieblich Bourdon 16 feet tone     44
8. Open Diapason 8 feet tone 56
9. Lieblich Gedackt 8 feet tone 56
10. Keraulophon (Grooved base)        8 feet tone 44
11. Voix Celeste 8 feet tone 44
12. Principal 4 feet tone 56
13. Mixture 3 rank   168
14. Piccolo 2 feet tone 56
15. Hautbois 8 feet tone 56
16. Cornopean 8 feet tone 56
       No. of pipes in Swell Organ 636
Pedal Organ        CCC - F 30 notes
17. Bourdon 16 feet tone 30
  Choir to pedals    
  Swell to pedals    
  Swell to choir    
       2 Composition pedals to choir organ
       2 Composition pedals to swell organ

Bellows To be constructed so as to give access to the interior for the reparation of the valves when necessary. To be double leathered throughout with inverted folds for over pressure of wind.

Sound boards for the Manuals to be made of best yellow pine, fit with tables, slides, bearers and footboards of either Mahogany or American Canary wood. To have our own improved pallet which considerably lightens the touch.

Key movements consisting of squares, levers and backfalls to be of good Mahogany and varnished. Rollers for roller-boards to be of good wrought iron and to work in tinned studs bushed with leathers for silence.

Keys to be made of best Ivory and Ebony. The Swell or top row to be overhanging and ‘Sparrow-beaked’ and the whole to have Ivory fronts.

Heavy machinery consisting of Composition pedals, shafts and fans, also trundles, levers and squares for Draw-Stop action to be made of good wrought iron, Japann’d to prevent rust and fit up in hardwood facings.

Jambs To be fixed in a diagonal position (the latest improved) which causes both sides of stops to work directly towards the performer. Key-frames, Jambs, Book-desk and Stop shanks to be of American Walnut; all to be handsomely finished and French polished. Stop shanks to be round and to work through the Jambs in red cloth bushing.

Pedal keys to be made of Birch. Radiating in form and 30 in number.

Silence of Motion Special care being taken with lining with leather or cloth all squares, levers, backfalls and studs for key and pedal movements.

Workmanship throughout to be of the highest character and the material used to be thoroughly good.

Scales of pipes to be of liberal size so as to obtain of firm intonation, all to be finely and evenly voiced, carefully and evenly regulated, which will give purity as well as sweetness of tone, and the whole to be tuned on the system of equal temperament.

Case to be of Deal and to the design furnished by the Revd F. H. Sutton.

Erection The Organ to be erected in Plumtree Church near Nottingham. Workman’s expenses etc incurred during erection, also travelling expenses to be paid by the builders, but the builders do not pay the carriage of the Organ. The whole to be put up, finished and left in first class condition for the sum of Three Hundred and Twenty pounds (£320) Nett due on completion of the Organ.

Leeds 10th Sept 1879
Wordsworth and Maskell