User login

St Agatha's Church, North Strand, Dublin

RegionCo. Dublin - Dublin city
Uploaded byRay O'Donnell
J. & H. White (c. 1908)
Trevor Crowe Ltd (2004)

The organ of St Agatha's Church was installed by the Dublin firm of J. & H. White, shortly after the completion of the building in 1908. It incorporated casework and pipework from an earlier instrument built by the elder John White around 1860. Originally located in a side chapel at ground level, the organ was moved to the newly constructed gallery in 1947.

The organ has always had good musical qualities, thanks to the excellence of John White's pipes and voicing. Its pneumatic action, which involved so-called membrane chests instead of the traditional slider sounboards, was in its day the very latest thing, and was highly efficient and reliable in the short term. In the long term, however, such actions were found to be impossible to service properly due to the inaccessibility of the many hundreds of delicate leather membranes. By the end of the century the organ had become totally unplayable, and for some years an electronic substitute was used.

The recent restoration and rebuilding of the organ have involved the painstaking repair and restoration of the original bellows, swellbox, casework and pipes. In addition, the organ was moved forward by some four feet, mainly to improve maintenance access, but with obvious benefit to its visual and tonal effect. The unserviceable pneumatic chests and action have been replaced with new, electrically operated slider soundboards, and a new drawstop console has been provided. The specification has been completed by the addition of some hundreds of new pipes, carefully scaled and voiced to complement and integrate with the original White pipework.

This information was supplied by Trevor Crowe.