The organ at St. George's Church is a chamber instrument, built
around 1820, and brought to Gooderstone from London during the 1940's.
The case, made of walnut, is particularly fine and must have been
designed for a notable architectural setting - perhaps a grand
London town house; with it's pairs of fluted and square columns,
each framing a single gilt pipe, it is most unusual.
A date at the
tail end of the Regency would seem likely. Unfortunately,
there is no makers's plate or inscription. At first it was attributed
to Thomas Elliott (1759 - 1832) but this seems unlikely: neither the
design of the stop action, nor the construction of the metal pipework
suggests his authorship.
James Chapman Bishop (1783 - 1854) is a
stronger contender; he invented composition pedals (of which
Gooderstone church organ has early examples), and there is a
Bishop organ of similar date in Tasmania which retains a case not
unlike this one. In most respects the organ is little altered
from it's original state. Chamber organs survive in reasonable
numbers in country churches.
Often they were taken from the The 'big'
house when they went out of fashion for domestic use. This
example at Gooderstone is exceptional in the quality of its casework,
its lack of alteration and the interest arising from the early
composition action. It is an important historic organ and in heritage
terms is Grade 1.
The organ is now back at St. George's Church
after being restored at our workshops