Christ Church Anglican Church
Hamilton, Victoria

Casson's Patent Organ Co, London, 1892 for the residence of
The Hon. William Winter-Irving, Armadale
2 manuals, 16 speaking stops, mechanical action.
rebuilt 1957, Hill, Norman & Beard, Melbourne;
2 manuals, 24 speaking stops, electro-pneumatic action
Incorporates Australia's first narrow-scaled string stops





The foundation stone of Christ Church was laid in November 1876 and the building opened in 1878. Designed by Ballarat architect H.R. Casselli, this bluestone building incorporates a massive tower and spire at the west end, and a spacious nave, unusually of unplastered bluestone. The apsidal chancel was added in 1956-1957 to the design of G.S. Richards, Ballarat diocesan architect.[1] In 1924, Robert Prenzel provided a design for a reredos and side panelling at the church.[2]


The East end of Christ Church with St Andrew's Presbyterian Church on the left


The organ was built in 1892 by Cassons Patent Organ Company, London and was installed in the residence of the Hon. William Winter Irving, Toorak in 1894.[3] The instrument was moved to Christ Church after 1901, and was rebuilt in 1957 by Hill, Norman & Beard, who electrified the action, resited the organ on a loft above the chancel and supplied a new console, but retaining all of the original pipework. The instrument is of particular interest for its imitative string stops, thought to have been voiced by William Thynne, who worked for Casson at the time, and the first such stops in Australia; and also for its floridly decorated facade pipes.


1892 SPECIFICATION


GREAT
Open Diapason
Claribel
Dulciana
Principal
Flauto Traverso

GREAT PEDALIER
Bourdon
Flauto Dolce

SWELL
Harmonic Flute
Viole d'Orchestre
Viole Céleste
Echo Salicional
Salicet
Flautino
Trumpet
vibrato

SWELL PEDALIER
Bourdon
Bass Flute

4 couplers (inc. Sw.octave)
Pedal help - Great pedalier
Pedal help - Swell pedalier
mechanical action [4]



1957 SPECIFICATION


GREAT
Lieblich Bourdon
Open Diapason
Claribel Flute
Dulciana
Principal
Flauto Traverso
Fifteenth

SWELL
Geigen Principal
Harmonic Flute
Viol d'Orchestre
Viol Célestes
Echo Salicional
Salicet
Flautina
Mixture
Trumpet
Oboe

PEDAL
Bourdon
Lieblich Bourdon
Grossquint
Flute
Quint
Octave Flute
Contra Oboe




8
8
8
4
4


16
8


8
8
8
8
4
2
8



16
8












16
8
8
8
4
4
2


8
8
8
8
8
4
2
III
8
8


16
16
10-2/3
8
5-1/3
4
16

















TC





















A











TC





B


C
A
A
C
A
C
B


compass: 61/30
detached drawknob console
electro-pneurnatic action [51

[1] Victorian Churches: their origins, their story & their architecture, edited by Miles Lewis. East Melbourne: National Trust of Australia (Victoria), 1991, p.125

[2] Terence Lane, Robert Prenzel, p.63.

[3] Matthews Colonial Organs & Organbuilders. Carlton: Melbourne University Press, 1969, pp.172, 184

[4] Casson's Patent Organ Company (Ltd), Church, Chamber and Concert ' Organ Builders : a brief explanation of their principles of construction, with testimonials and reports as to their work and specifications of same. Notting Hill, London, the firm, c.1892, p.32.

[5] Specification noted 1966 John Maidment






The Casson organ at Christ Church, Hamilton before the rebuild
(Meredith Elliot)


Photos: JRM May 2006 and Trevor Bunning (Oct 2009)