St. Frideswide's Church, Frilsham, Berkshire
St. Frideswide's Church, Frilsham, Berkshire
Open Diapason   
Stopped Diapason Bass   
Clarabella (treble)  
Fifteenth prepared for in 1860, inserted 1994 (courtesy of ON organ fund)  
3 wooden composition pedals,
1 = Full, 2 = - 4' & 2', 3 = - OD,
hitch-down swell pedal 

The entire organ is in a swell box and there are no display pipes. The case front is formed by three fretted panels, now backed with red material.

The organ has never seen a tuning slide and never completely reached Equal Temperament. By straightening the pipes and carefully resetting the speech and regulation, I was able to arrive at the original unequal temperament with D-flat and A-flat instead of C-sharp and G-sharp. These notes could never have been sharper nor the others flatter. As I found the same tuning characteristics on each stop I am sure that the original tuning system has been restored. All pipe work was straightened and placed on speech without cutting the pipe tops. A semblance of unequal temperament was to hand. Careful observations of this were made and the same semblance of tuning was observed on each metal stop separately. This was done at three stages; on the voicing machine, when the organ was set up in the workshop and finally on site. It was only when the organ was being finished on site that tuning cones were used to tune the instrument.

The interesting and most important characteristics found are those of C-sharp and G-sharp, both of which notes are consistently much flatter than in equal temperament and are therefore really D-flat and A-flat. This is conclusive evidence because this was observed on virtually every pipe and these pipes could never have been originally sharper because they are too long. Of course they had been torn down and smashed sharper by cones in subsequent tunings; it is to be observed that even the Clarabella pipes have been cut on these notes.

The final temperament is certainly very close to the original used as there is very little tolerance available once all aspects of voicing regulation and pipe lengths have been considered. The pitch of the organ is slightly flat to A=438, and the tuning is set as follows:

C-G as per equal temperament

G-D as per equal temperament

D-A as per equal temperament

A-E as per equal temperament

E-B pure

B-F sharp pure

F sharp-D flat very flat- 8 cycles per second (1ft pitch)

D flat-A flat pure

A flat-D sharp- very sharp- 8 cycles per second (1ft pitch)

D sharp-A sharp- pure

A sharp-F as per equal temperament

F-C as per equal temperament

Article taken from The Organbuilder, Volume 13 October 1995