We have just finished our restoration of the 1821 Henry Lincoln organ at Thaxted parish church (in Essex near Stanstead airport). It is the earliest surviving English church organ which retains all its original parts, and looks, sounds and plays as it did originally. It is not in its original home, which was St John’s Chapel Bedford Row in London, but was moved to Thaxted by Holdich in 1858. Its connection with Thaxted is enhanced by the time when Gustav Holst lived in Thaxted, during which time he wrote much of the Planets Suite, and gave the name ‘Thaxted’ to his famous tune for ‘I vow to Thee, my country’.
The organ is most grateful to Sybil King for her indefatigable fund-raising, and the organ builders are grateful for the friendliness and interest of the members of the congregation and visitors to the church.
The organ will be used in the Thaxted music festival, when Robert Quinney will play it in a concert on July 12th at 12 noon.
A booklet is being written about the organ by the advisor to the restoration project, the Revd. Nicholas Thistlethwaite, to be published by Positif Press Oxford.