Scots' Presbyterian Church
Charles Richardson 1906, Brown & Associates 1995, 2m., 16 sp. st., electric
Historical and Technical Documentation by Kelvin Hastie
© OHTA 2005 (last updated October 2005)
West Maitland was the cradle of Presbyterianism in the Hunter region. In 1849 the church and the adjoining high school and manse were erected. The church, which is built in rendered brick in the Romanesque style, incorporates a tower over the entrance capped by a pyramidal roof and a nave of five bays.  The church was originally part of the Free Presbyterian branch of the denomination and no musical instruments, nor hymns, were admitted in worship. In 1865 the church joined the larger Presbyterian Church of New South Wales, some members being lost in the union. 
In 1906 Charles Richardson constructed a new organ for the church, housed in an apse and built inside an exceptionally handsome cedar case of three towers and two flats, enclosed by carved cornices. The instrument had two manuals, 15 speaking stops and tubular-pneumatic action. Of interest was the use of sliderless soundboards and the presence of two bellows, one for the action and the other for the pipework. 
The year 1955 is infamous for residents of the Hunter District, for it was then that a disastrous flood swept through the area, inundating low-lying areas, such as central Maitland. Scots’ Church was extensively damaged and the organ rendered unplayable. For some 30 years substitute electronic and reed organs accompanied services, but in 1984 Brown & Arkley, of Sydney, electrified the action and rebuilt the console, while replacing the non-original Viol d’Orchestre 8 (previously a Cornopean) on the Great, with a Principal 4. In 1995 a Mixture III was added to the Swell division by Ian D. Brown & Associates.
© PdL 2005
Charles Richardson 1906, Brown & Associates 1995 (2/16 electric)
Swell to Great
Great to Pedal
Swell to Pedal
5 thumb pistons each to Great and Swell *
5 general pistons *
Balanced swell pedal *
No. of pipes = 902
+ Replaced non-original Viol dOrchestra 8
* Added 1995
16 year old Daniel Canaris playing the organ at Scots
© PdL 2005
 White, The Challenge of the Years, 340 and The Heritage of Australia : the illustrated register of the national estate. South Melbourne: Macmillan, 1981, pp.2/200-201.
 Robert Stevenson, The Organ in the Scots Presbyterian Church, Maitland, Plenum: the journal of the Hunter District Organ Music Society 23/2 (August 2001): 10.
 John Stiller, Scots Presbyterian Church Maitland NSW – Documentation of Pipe Organ built by Charles Richardson, 1906. Organ Historical Trust of Australia, 1981.