Pipe Organs

Pipe organs are “fearfully and wonderfully made”. The sound is created by wind at a chosen pressure which has travelled from the bellows (or reservoir) to the soundboard (or wind chest) on which the pipes stand. The keyboard operates the mechanism with either (1) tracker action (mechanically), or (2) pneumatic action (puffs of wind operated by miniature bellows or ‘motors’), or (3) electro-pneumatic action (‘motors’ assisted by magnets). The drawstops operate sliders in the soundboard allowing wind to enter the selected rank of pipes.

Before 1539 there were five small organs in Durham Cathedral, and the organ “ouer the quire dore” was said to be one of the finest in England. Organs have been popular in parish churches since early Victorian times. An organ in a village church might have up to 1000 pipes; the Harrison & Harrison organ in Durham Cathedral has 5734 pipes.


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VAT on organ maintenance and tuning might be reclaimable under the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme. It is understood that relevant invoices must be submitted within one year, to a combined minimum value of £500 excluding VAT.

Further details can be obtained from Topmark (LPOW):
0845 013 6601


Harrison & Harrison Ltd
St John’s Road,

U.K. phone: 0191 378 2222
International phone: +44 191 378 2222
Fax: 0191 378 3388
Opening times:
Mon – Fri 8:00am – 5:30pm