The organ was built by Henry Willis in 1879, and was inaugurated on Easter Day by the Cathedral Organist, Dr A.L. Peace, as the first permanent organ installed in the Cathedral since the Reformation. It was rebuilt and enlarged by Henry Willis & Sons in 1903 and 1931, and again by J.W. Walker & Sons in 1971.
In 1996 the organ was completely reconstructed and redesigned by Harrison & Harrison, with new slider chests, rebuilt actions and an improved layout; the original wind reservoirs have been fully restored. The excellent Willis pipework of 1879, somewhat altered over the years, remains at the heart of the organ.
The intention was to return the whole instrument as far as possible towards the style of Father Willis, and the reeds and mixtures required special attention in this regard. Stops 6, 9, 35, 40, 58, 60, 64 and 67 are new; the Solo Organ is, in effect, a new department, but includes revoiced pipework from 1971. The advisers were John Turner, Organist of the Cathedral, and Dr Philip Ledger.
The organ is placed in the triforium on both sides of the quire, with two cases overhanging the pulpitum, on which the console is placed centrally. The Great Organ is in the north case, and the Solo in the south case; the Swell and Choir Organs and the Pedal reeds are in successive bays of the north triforium, beyond the Great. The Pedal chorus stops are behind the Great, and the largest Pedal pipes are in the south triforium.
Suite pour orgue: Prélude – Maurice Duruflé