St Brigid's Catholic Church, Nicholson Street
St Brigid's is a large bluestone church with cement dressings, in the Decorated Gothic style. The original nave was designed by architect T.A. Kelly and built in 1870, with the two aisles added in 1881 and 1885. The main facade includes three fine rose windows while the interior is of hall church construction, without clerestory.
The first organ was the original organ from St Patrick's Cathedral, Melbourne, was opened in 1882 but removed later to the Congregational Church, Castlemaine by Alfred Fuller; it is now at Our Saviour Lutheran Church, Knoxfield, an outer Melbourne suburb. The present organ was built by Alfred Fuller, of Kew, and opened 24 July 1886 by David Lee. Later restoration work was carried out by George Fincham & Son in 1908 and 1911 (at one of these times the original Bassoon & Clarionet stop was replaced by a spotted metal Trumpet with dust bonnets). Further restoration took place by George Fincham & Sons in 1970, when a later Gamba 8 was restored to a Twelfth 2-2/3, while very recently Wakeley Pipe Organs has carried out a complete overhaul. This is the only surviving Fuller organ where all of the metal pipework (apart from the facade) is of spotted metal. Unusually, the Swell Flageolette 2 has tapered pipes. The internal painted finishes survive intact. The casework contains elaborately stencilled facade pipes (possibly decorated by rival organbuilder William Anderson's artist - note the cartouches bearing saints' initials) while the mahogany console is of lavish construction, with elegant raised music desk, chamfered edges and rear panelling. This is a large and very original example of Fuller's work in fine condition.
Sw. to Gt.
Grand Open Diap.
Gt. to Ped.
Sw. to Ped.
(restored 1970 using original pipes)
(Fincham 1908 or 1911)
6 composition pedals
Lever swell pedal
Victorian Churches: their origins, their story & their architecture, edited by Miles Lewis. East Melbourne; National Trust of Australia (Victoria), 1991, p.71
E.N. Matthews, Colonial Organs and Organbuilders. Carlton: Melbourne University Press, 1969, pp. 133, 213
Photos: JRM 2006