St Stephen


The organ dates from 1872 when it was originally set into the chancel of the 1839 church. It was first used on 19th September 1872 when it was played by Mr H S Irons, assistant organist of Chester Cathedral, later organist at Southwell Minster. The organ costs £450 and was built by Brindley and Foster. The previous instrument was sold on 1st March to West Bridgford Church for the sum of £44. It was described as ‘small and ornamental’ and was originally housed in the west end gallery before being moved into the ‘Quire’. In 1847 Mr William Henry Willcockson, a local banker, was the organist.

The 1901 organ
above the Lady
Chapel screen
The console in
its present

In 1901, the then organist Mr C F Hole, proposed a scheme costing £350 to move the 1872 organ and console from the chancel to a new position above the screen dividing the Lady Chapel from the nave. The cost was kept to a minimum by the church users carrying out much of the work. A green and gold panelled Gothic style screen was constructed topped with the organ pipes, almost filling the arch. The access to the console necessitated the organist ascending a narrow iron spiral staircase through a door set in the corner of the South vestry. The rather low entrance leading from the top of the stairs onto the walkway over the screen to the organ can still be seen but is blocked by a substantial piece of timber.

At the time of the move the church was lit by gas. It is reported that ‘the organist was nearly suffocated by the rising fumes’ so the console had to be lowered to its present position to the right hand side at the front of the Lady Chapel screen. The consequent patching of the organ screen is evidence of the move.

The instrument was rebuilt and enlarged as part of the move from the chancel, this work being carried out by Cousans and Sons of Lincoln. The specification listed at the 1901 re-opening was:

Great Organ - Compass CC to g'' 56
  1 Lieblich Bourdon   16 feet
  2 Open Diapason I   8 feet
  3 Open Diapason II   8 feet
  4 Gamba   8 feet
  5 Hohl Flote   8 feet
  6 Principal   4 feet
  7 Fifteenth   2 feet
  8 Trumpet   8 feet
Swell Organ - Compass CC to g'' 56
  9 Double Diapason   16 feet
  10 Violin Diapason   8 feet
  11 Orchestral Gamba   8 feet
  12 Vox Angelica   8 feet
  13 Vox Celeste   8 feet
  14 Principal   4 feet
  15 Mixture   III ranks
  16 Horn   8 feet
  17 Oboe   8 feet
  18 Vox Humana   8 feet
Choir Organ - Compass CC to g'' 56
  19 Salicional   8 feet
  20 Gedecht   8 feet
  21 Dulciana   8 feet
  22 Harmonic Flute   4 feet
  23 Clarinet   8 feet
Pedal Organ CCC to F 30
  24 Open Diapason   16 feet
  25 Bourden   8 feet
  26 Bass Flute   16 feet
  27 Swell Super Octave    
  28 Swell to Choir    
  29 Swell to Choir    
  30 Choir to Great    
  31 Swell to Pedals    
  32 Choir to Pedals    
  33 Great to Pedals    

Tremulant by a pedal
Four Composition Pedals to Great Organ
Four Composition Pedals to Swell Organ

Blown by detached Feeders and Melvin Hydraulic Engine

The whole of the action, couplers etc., are by the builders Tubular Pneumatic System.

The keyboards, stops knobs at an angle of 45 degrees, pedal board and positions generally are in accordance with the suggestions of the Royal College of Organists London

A copy of the programme of music played at the opening ceremony is in the church records.

Currently the console is housed in a plain oak case said to have been designed by Bodely (?) A plate attached to the console bears the name of a local organ builder E Wragg and Sons and is of the style of the 1920s/1930s, possibly a date when the organ was again repaired. Currently the organ is not in use having been declared unsuitable for playing and beyond economic repair.

The small organ

A smaller organ is used for services. This is located under the arch of the North transept and is on loan to the church from Mr David Bloodworth. It is a much older instrument than its more permanent companion having been built between 1820 and 1850 by Samuel Parsons of Bloomsbury Square London. It is known that at one time it was located in a church at Toddington (just off the M1 motorway), before being bought to Nottingham where it has seen service at All Souls’ Church Radford and St Mary’s in the Lace Market before its current resting place. It has a plain case which has been painted white.

A grand piano is also used in the church.