St Helen Bishopsgate, London Restoration of 1743 Griffin Organ/New organ

The church was affected by two IRA bomb blasts, which brought about the restoration of the church. The west gallery was restored, with the organ removed from the east end to its original position.

This organ is a combination of restoration, reconstruction and new organ. Of the 1743 Griffin organ the Great/Choir chest survived with the original upperboards for the three shared stops. The case was reduced in depth close to the original, and the pipes were repaired and the original voicing restored as far as possible. The missing stops on Great and Choir were copied from the originals, the Sesquialtera’s original composition restored. The Swell chest and box are new, the compass extended from the original gº to C. The stop list is England’s of 1810 (which added a Dulciana and took the Fifteenth out of the Cornet). The Pedal is also new, and is based partly on the Gray & Davison Pedal Organ of 1851 at St Anne’s Limehouse.

Stop List

Great GG – d³ Choir GG – d³
Open Diapason* (8’) Open Diapason* (8’)
Stop Diapason* (8’) Stop Diapason* (8’)
Principal* (4’) Principal* (4’)
Twelfth* (2 2/3’) Flute (4’)
Fifteenth* (2’) Cremona (8’)
Tierce* (1 3/5’)
Sesquialtra* V
Cornet (from c¹)* V
Trumpet (8’)
Clarion (4’)

Stop List

Swell C – d³ Pedal C – f¹
Open Diapason* 8' Bourdon 16’
Stop. Diapason* 8' Principal 8’
Dulciana 8' Bass Flute 8’
Principal* 4' Fifteenth 4’
Fifteenth 2' Trombone 16’
Cornet II Trumpet 8’
Trumpet* 8'
Hautboy (from c) 8'
Clarion 4'

Swell to Great, Swell to Pedal, Great to Pedal
Tremulant to Great and Choir

Stops marked * contain original pipes from 1742/3. The Swell Fifteenth and Choir Cremona contain England pipework from 1810. The other stops are new.

The compass is GG – d³ long octaves for the Great and Choir, C – d³ for the Swell and C – f¹ for the Pedal. The pitch is a¹=440Hz and the tuning was developed by Mark Lindley for the performance of Bach’s music, an elegant and mild circulating irregular temperament.

The Director of Music is Richard Simpkin and the advisor was John Norman.

The recording is available from REGCD190 John Stanley’s complete voluntaries for organ, played by Margaret Phillips at St Helen’s Bishopsgate, St James Bermondsey, St Mary & St Paul, Blandford Forum and St Mary Rotherhithe.  Bishopsgate and Rotherhithe are also used on Calcante CD035 Early English Music Masters; 18th century English organ music played by Calvert Johnson