St Paul's Chapel, Ainslie House

Low Head Road, Low Head

B. 1867 Bevington & Sons, London for St Paul's Anglican Church, Launceston.
Reb. 1967 K.R. Davis & Son on new chests and action.
Rec. & inst. present loc. 1981 K.R. Davis & Son (using original components).
1m., 6, 1c., tr. Man: 8.8 divided.8.4.2. Ped: 16.

St Paul's Chapel, Low Head: church exterior
[photograph by Trevor Bunning May 2011]

Historical and Technical Documentation by John Maidment
© OHTA (last updated May 2011)

This substantial brick chapel was opened around 1980. It contains many fittings from St Paul's Anglican Church, Launceston including the stained glass, memorial tablets and organ. St Paul's was a large timber church to the south of the city centre close to the Launceston General Hospital.

St Paul's Chapel, Low Head: stained glass window from St Paul's Church, Launceston
[photograph by Trevor Bunning May 2011]

St Paul's Chapel, Low Head: view of organ case
[photograph by Trevor Bunning May 2011]

The Bevington & Sons organ was built in London in 1867 for St Paul's Church, Launceston, where it was opened on 27 October 1867. It was erected by Jesse Biggs. It was described in the Launceston Examiner for 26 October 1867, pp.4-5:

ST. PAULS'S CHURCH. – A very essential addition to this church has just been made in the erection of a small but handsome and full-toned organ. The congregation having some few months ago resolved upon procuring an orga, communicated with Mr. Robert Sharpe, in January last, who had the instrument built according to his own specification, and forwarded by the bark Westbury, which arrived here last month. The makers are Messrs. Bevington and Sons, of Greek-street, Soho, London, and the instrument is spoken of in very high terms, not only by Mr. Sharpe, but all those who have seen it here and are able to form a reliable opinion. It is built in a Gothic case of pine – which is stained and varnished – with an open screen. The pipes are illuminated in blue and gold. For its dimensions few instruments are as compact, as the following list of its contents will show: - One Manual, CC to F, 54 notes. 1 – Open Diapason to G, stop bass, 47 pipes; 2 – Stop Diapason, mid C, 24 pipes; 3 – Clarabella – treble, 30 pipes; 4 – Dulciana, tenor C, stopd bass, 42 pipes; 5 – Principal, 54 pipes; 6 – Flute tenor C, 42 pipes; 7 – Bourdon. CCC to CC, 13 pipes; total 252 pipes, 2 octaves pedals. The cost of the organ was £98 with an additional £2 10s for decorating the pipes. It has been erected on the floor at the southern end of the Church by Mr. J. Biggs. The total cost including packing, freight and erection is £158, and we are informed that a cheaper instrument has not been brought to the colony. For a similar class of organ the Messrs. Bevington obtained the prize medal at the 1862 exhibition, at Dublin in 1866, and also at the Paris exhibition.

Another report, from the Australian Churchman, 16 November 1867, p.45 reported:

Although the pipes are not made of the highly-praised and highly-priced spotted metal, they are of good, hard plain metal, which will last for a century, and are free from that hard, metallic ring, so grating to the ear in many organs in which spotted metal is used.

In 1967, the pipes from the Bevington & Sons organ were incorporated in a new instrument built for St Paul's Church by Keith Davis. The structure of the Bevington organ was stored and in 1981 the pipes were amalgamated back with the instrument and it was installed at its present location at Low Head. The original Flute 4, the pipes of which had been used in an organ built for the Uniting Church, Swan Street, North Hobart, was replaced by a Fifteenth 2.

St Paul's Chapel, Low Head: view of organ case from right
[photograph by Trevor Bunning May 2011]

The casework is much in the idiom of the Scudamore organs designed by architect George Edmund Street and intended for placement in narrow chancels, occupying a minimum of space. The console lid is decorated with finely made metal hinges and has gold lettering with details of the firm's prize medals.

St Paul's Chapel, Low Head: view of organ console
[photograph by Trevor Bunning May 2011]

St Paul's Chapel, Low Head: view of console lid
[photograph by Trevor Bunning May 2011]

Open Diapason
Stop Diapason Bass



(all pipes unenclosed)
GG, bass derived

replacing original Flute [4]


Compass: 54/25
Pedal pulldowns
Mechanical key and stop action
Hand blowing retained, with wind indicator behind glass panel

St Paul's Chapel, Low Head: close up view of organ drawstops
[photograph by Trevor Bunning May 2011]

St Paul's Chapel, Low Head: close up view of organ drawstops
[photograph by Trevor Bunning May 2011]