The Father Willis Organ

The accompanying images of orchestras, choirs, and others on this site show that any ensemble performing on the stage is dominated by the view of the Father Willis Organ. The instrument has a commonality with other nineteenth-century town hall organs in its size and grandeur.

Location:

The Father Willis Organ

Huddersfield HD1 2TA, UK

Huddersfield Town Hall & The Father Wills Organ

Description:

The organ was built around 1860 by Henry Willis & Sons of London for the Royal Albert Hall at Newport, Monmouthshire. The organ was purchased by Huddersfield Town Council and it was moved by Conacher and Co. of Huddersfield.35

In October 1881 the Huddersfield Chronicle reported that the ‘Organ consisted of four complete manuals from CC-C, and pedals radiating, and concave, from CCC-G’. In all there were 13 stops on the great organ, 16 stops on the swell organ, 7 stops on the choir organ, 7 stops on the solo organ, and 10 stops on the pedal organ. In total the organ had 276 pipes.’

The Huddersfield Chronicle noted that several improvements were carried out, and Henry Willis & Sons carried out work at various times from 1901–1919. In the 1930s Conacher and Co. of Huddersfield maintained the organ until Willis & Sons were called back again, eventually carrying out a major rebuilding of the organ in 1956, under the directions of Henry Willis III and Dr. Jackson, Organist of York Minster. Subsequent work was carried out by Harrison & Harrison, from Durham, and Wood of Huddersfield.36

The organ dominates any musical proceedings in the Town Hall, and the instrument is an echo of Huddersfield’s nineteenth-century musical heritage.

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