St David's Anglican Cathedral
cnr Macquarie & Murray Streets, Hobart

B. 1858 Bishop & Starr, London;
Reb. & enl. 1917 Geo. Fincham & Son (addition of choir organ).
Reb. & enl. 1958 J.W. Walker & Sons, Ruislip, Middlesex.
3 manuals., 54 speaking stops, 12 couplers, electro-pneumatic







St David’s is a stone Gothic Revival Cathedral begun in 1868 and completed in 1936 to the original design of the English architect G.F. Bodley.  It is the second church on the site.  The arcaded entry features a large west window with fine tracery in the gable-end balanced by buttressed turrets.  Other features include a simple square tower in Oatlands stone, with castellated parapet and quatrefoil tracery to the openings.  There is a fine close on the southern side including old trees.  With associated ecclesiastical buildings, it forms an historic precinct in a central location with the tower as a landmark. [1]




From the Cathedral website:

The first organ of St David's Cathedral was a small instrument of one manual built by John Gray of London in 1823. Although the original Georgian cathedral building was not large, the organ was probably soon felt to be inadequate to accompany the hymn-singing of its congregation.


Manual
Open Diapason
Stopped Diapason
Principal
Twelfth
Fifteenth
Cornet
Sexquialtera
Mixture

8
8
4
2-2/3
2
III
III
II






Treble
Bass


Action: tracker; compass: GGG-f3 (no GGG#)

In 1858 it was moved to St Matthew's Anglican church Rokeby (now an eastern-shore suburb of Hobart). This fine instrument, the oldest in the country, retains its original free-standing case and is still playing, modernized only with an electric blower.

Its successor at St David's was an instrument of two manuals and pedals built by another famous London firm, Bishop and Starr. A small amount of its pipework (notably the Clarabella, Flute and Dulciana) has been retained in the present instrument.


The 1858 specification was:

Great
Open Diapason
Stopped Diapason
Clarabella
Dulciana
Principal
Flute
Twelfth
Fifteenth
Clarionet

Swell
Open Diapason
Stopped Diapason
Principal
Fifteenth
Mixture
Cornopean
Oboe

Pedal
Bourdon

8
8
8
8
4
4
2-2/3
2
8


8
8
4
2
III
8
8


16



Mid C



















Action: tracker

Moved into the new and larger cathedral church in 1874, it remained unaltered until 1909. In that year, and again in 1916, it was enlarged by the Melbourne firm of George Fincham & Sons. A third manual was added, the action converted to tubular pneumatic, and most of the earlier pipework replaced. Still, however, written records from the next few decades indicate that dissatisfaction was felt with the organ's ability to lead a large congregation.


The 1916 specification was:

Great
Open Diapason I
Open Diapason II
Stopped Diapason
Claribel
Salicional
Principal
Flute
Twelfth
Fifteenth
Trumpet

Swell
Double Diapason
Open Diapason
Stopped Diapason
Gamba
Celeste
Principal
Fifteenth
Mixture
Cornopean
Oboe
Clarion

Choir
Gedacht
Wald Flute
Dulciana
Flute Traverso
Clarionet

Pedal
Open Diapason
Bourdon
Principal

8
8
8
8
8
4
4
2-2/3
2
8


16
8
8
8
8
4
2
III
8
8
4


8
8
8
4
8


16
16
8




Claribella MidC 1909
replaced Dluciana 1916




new 1916, replaced Clarionet












prep. for 1909, inst. 1916

new division added 1916
new 1916
new 1916
from Great 1916?
new 1916
from Great 1916?




new 1916

9 couplers

Action: Tubular pneumatic

In 1958 a major rebuilding was undertaken by J. W. Walker & Sons. The action was converted to electro-pneumatic, a new blower provided, and the console moved from the organ case to the south side of the choir.

Most of the existing pipework was retained unaltered, but there were substantial additions to all departments, including high-pressure reeds available on the Great, Choir and Pedal. The organ now occupied all three bays of the north choir aisle, with a new case-front.

Between 1999 and 2005 substantial tonal renovation was carried out by the local firm of Gibbs & Thomson. The specification is little changed, but much rescaling and revoicing have been undertaken: in particular, the Great and Swell Mixtures and all the Choir pipework have been remodelled, the reedwork revoiced, and the Pedal Open Wood rescaled.

 


The specification is:

GREAT
Contra Geigen
Open Diapason no. 1
Open Diapason no. 2
Geigen
Clarabel (Mid. C)
Stopped Diapason
Octave
Principal
Flute
Fifteenth
Quartane
Mixture
Horn
Tromba
Trumpet

SWELL
Open Diapason
Stopped Diapason
Viola da Gamba
Celeste (tenor C)
Suabe flute
Principal
Fifteenth
Larigot
Mixture
Contra Fagotto
Oboe
Cornopean
Clarion
Tremulant

CHOIR
Lieblich Bourdon
Gedackt
Dulciana
Flauto Traverso
Gemshorn
Nazard
Flautino
Tierce
Clarinet
Tromba
Trumpet
Tremulant

PEDAL
Open Wood
Contra Geigen
Bourdon
Echo Bourdon
Quint
Octave
Principal
Bass Flute
Octave Quint
Fifteenth
Octave Flute
Contra Fagotto
Trombone
Tromba
Oboe

16
8
8
8
8
8
4
4
4
2
II
III
8
8
8


8
8
8
8
4
4
2
1-1/3
III
16
8
8
4



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



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

A


A



A





B
E











C
C





D
D




D
D

B
E



G
A
F
D
F
G
H
F
F
H
F
C

B
C


COUPLERS
Sw. to Gr.
Sw. to Ch.
Sw. to Ped.
Gr. to Ped.
Ch. to Gr.
Ch. to Ped.
Sw. Octave, Suboctave & Unison off
Ch. Octave, Suboctave & Unison off

ACCESSORIES
Thumb pistons: 6 each to Sw., Gr. and Ch.; Sw. to Gr., Sw. to Ped., Gr. to Ped., 3 generals, Gen. cancel.
Toe pistons: 6 each to Sw. and Gr.: Gr. to Ped.; 3 generals.



 
 
 
 

Photos: Trevor Bunning (Dec 2008)

 

[1] The Heritage of Australia – The Illustrated Register of the National Estate by: Australian Heritage Commission.     Published: The Macmillan Company of Australia p/l  1981