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In 1844, Frederick Jeremiah Smith, who personally paid for the building of Holy Trinity, generously gave the new church a gift which has become a national treasure - the magnificent pipe organ.

It was built by a very well-known and renowned organ builder, William Hill.  Before the organ was installed, all the church had to accompany its services was a harmonium!  But the arrival of the organ greatly enriched the worship then as it does today.

In 1894, it was enlarged.  It was orginally three manuals (keyboards) and had a pedalboard (to be played by the feet).  More stops (sounds) were added, especially for the pedals.  These pipes are up to 16' tall and 10" square and provide the very deepest bass sounds.  Because the organ was containing so many more pipes, it had to be made bigger, and so it was moved forward from the west wall of the gallery by about 6', which is why it looks a bit as if it's 'looming' and tied up in the roof beams.


Originally the case, the structure of the organ, would have been stained pine, with the show pipes at the front gilded in gold leaf.  In 1959, the organ had a major overhaul, and at the same time, the case was painted a variety of colours, including the gilded pipes.  For over 50 years, apart from routine maintenance and tuning, no work was carried out on it, which says a lot for its craftsmanship!  Over those years, both a temporary and then a permanent roof were installed in the church, and the organ wasn't even professionally cleaned.  In 2010, it was decided to launch an appeal to restore the organ to its former glory.

From May 2011, T J Fearn and Sons from Honiton, took the entire organ apart and restored and repaired every single moving part and pipe.  It took them nearly a year, and at Easter 2012, the organ sounded once again.  The case was professionally repainted in an off-white, and the show pipes re-gilded.  All told this work cost over £100,000.  Due to the generosity of grants from Viridor Credits, most of this has now been found.  In June the Organ Appeal's patron, the renowned international recitalist, Nicolas Kynaston, performed the opening concert which showed off the organ to its best.

A leading organ builder has described Holy Trinity's Hill organ as, with one other organ, the best example of Hill's work of the date in country.  It would be nice to think that Frederick Jeremiah Smith would be pleased that nearly 170 years after his gift, the organ was still appreciated, valued and enjoyed.

Holy Trinity has rightly been proud of its musical tradition, and are pleased that we still are available to offer excellence today.

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