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The Milton Organ, Tewkesbury Abbey, Gloucestershire, English West Midlands by Philip Mitchell

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The Milton Organ, Tewkesbury Abbey, Gloucestershire, English West Midlands by 

Tewkesbury Abbey is one of English Heritage’s Grade 1 listed buildings, and the second largest parish church in England. The following about the so-called Milton Organ appears on the Abbey’s website – "The history of this instrument is a long and fascinating one. In 1631, Robert Dallam built a new organ for Magdalen College, Oxford, where it was erected in an ‘organ house’ opening on to the south side of the chapel. In 1654 it was moved to Hampton Court Palace, where the poet John Milton is reputed to have played it. The instrument was returned to Magdalen in 1660 and re-erected the following year. The organ was substantially remodelled by Renatus Harris in 1690.

In 1736 the organ was sold to Tewkesbury Abbey and later placed on a special stone screen constructed on the site of the medieval pulpitum. A Swell Organ was added by John Holland in 1796. Major rebuilds followed – by ‘Father’ Willis in 1848 and J.W. Walker in 1948 (when the Echo and Solo departments were added and a detached five-manual console was installed).

In 1997 the Milton Organ was rebuilt and reconstructed by Kenneth Jones and Associates of Bray as a four-manual instrument with 68 speaking stops and 4611 pipes. The lower three keyboards have mechanical action, whilst the Solo and Apse divisions have electro-pneumatic action.

The inaugural recital was given in May 1997 by Nicolas Kynaston, who also acted as organ consultant."

This magnificent instrument continues to enhance the daily worship offered up in this historic place.

I am based near Winchester in mid-Hampshire (UK) and have enjoyed photographing a wide variety of subjects for over 40 years, though the digital revolution has been a real boon.

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  • Gary Kelly
    Gary Kellyover 5 years ago

    What a glorious thing! Even if it didn’t play a note, I’d still love it. Beautifully captured as well.

  • Many thanks for your appreciative comments. Philip

    – Philip Mitchell

  • CraigsMom
    CraigsMomover 5 years ago

    Wow…I’ll bet this sounds as wonderful as it looks!

  • I have been privileged to take part in Musica Deo Sacra several years running, and this instrument both accompanies the choir well and allows an excellent solo contribution either side of the services. Philip

    – Philip Mitchell

  • Maria  Moro
    Maria Moroover 5 years ago

    Please consider one of your artworks for our challenge Shapes in MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS

    • only 4 days left to submit
    • Unless you have already submitted.
  • I shall indeed. On RedBubble I currently only have two images featuring a musical instrument, but I will happily sign up to the group. And many thanks for making this a favourite. Philip

    – Philip Mitchell

  • EarthGipsy
    EarthGipsyalmost 5 years ago

    Just love these amazing organs, very beautiful.

  • … especially not just when they look good but when they sound wonderful and have an amazing history as well: thank you. Philip

    – Philip Mitchell

  • Bernadette Watts
    Bernadette Wattsalmost 5 years ago

    Phillip… This is just a georgeous shot – the light of the building and the dark of the organ. How stunning!

  • Your kind appreciation is much valued: thank you. Philip

    – Philip Mitchell

  • Yhun Suarez
    Yhun Suarezabout 4 years ago

    Features 28th of November 2010

    Gorgeous capture of a stunning organ. Well done! :)

  • Many thanks for this great honour, it is much valued. Philip

    – Philip Mitchell

  • Audrey Clarke
    Audrey Clarkeabout 4 years ago

  • Patricia127
    Patricia127about 4 years ago

    Congratulations on your wonderful feature.

  • Many thanks: I am delighted you enjoyed it. Philip

    – Philip Mitchell

  • Jaclyn Hughes
    Jaclyn Hughesabout 4 years ago

  • Marie Sharp
    Marie Sharpalmost 4 years ago

  • Many thanks for the feature. I’ll bet this fabulous instrument led some first class worship over the Christmas season. Philip

    – Philip Mitchell

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