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St Mary's Church, Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo

RegionCo. Mayo
Uploaded byRay O'Donnell
Telford & Telford (1876)

This instrument is in the west gallery of the church, housed in a split case either side of a large window. The key-action is mechanical, and the stop-action electrical. It has a balanced swell pedal, and two composition pedals.

The manual registers are controlled by draw-stops, while the pedal stops are tabs - presumably the pedal unit is a later addition.

Open Diapason8
Twelfth2 2/3
Open Diapason8
Bass flute8
Swell to Great
Swell to Pedal
Great to Pedal


Ray's picture

Organ gone

This organ has recently been removed from the church, and replaced by an electronic instrument.

David_Forde's picture

What a shame - has it been

What a shame - has it been broken up or relocated elsewhere?

Ray's picture

Last I heard, it was in

Last I heard, it was in storage in the parish, and the PP was offering the pipes for sale. He was offered an opportunity for them to be taken off his hands, but that one didn't fly.

David_Forde's picture

Dear oh dear...I wonder how

Dear oh dear...I wonder how bad a state it was in...

Ray's picture

I gather it was in a

I gather it was in a reasonable state; it was just that the pipes apparently weren't worth what it would cost to take them away, added to having to pay for them also.

John Lane's picture

Updated Info

The Organ of St. Mary's Church was ordered by Telford & Telford in 1863. The Church was in use for 13yrs until it was finally installed by Telford in May 1876 not 1873.

I'm not sure what was the Original Stoplist as when the Pipes were sold to another Organ Builder a month ago.. not saying names for confidentiality reasons... It is believed at one stage that all the telford Pipes were replaced by Bevington as the pipes were instantly identifiable as Bevengton Pipes and the Telford Casework Retained.

To my sadness as Organist to the Parish, in general the Organ was very undervalued by the Parish Congregation and since we have 9 Harry Clarke Windows with the largest and most expensive one up in the Gallery, it was decided the Window gets the first priority as the Organ was partially Obscuring the window.

As a result the people, not I, decided to go electronic. The Organ was replaced by a 3 manual Makin Digital Organ which cost less than half the price of a full restoration to the Pipe Organ.

The Pipe Organ had a very poor wind supply and was too small for a church that seats 900. My main preoccupation was to restore the Organ and to include some Digital Stops to give extra power and colour as there was no space in the Chamber for additional Pipes and to slim the case in width, to expose the window more and a new dethatched console. The Casing was in terible condition as we discovered woodworm, the voicing was bland and there were wind leaks and concussion leading up to full Organ when large chords were being played.

All that was retained and sold were the pipes, pedalboard, Ivory Manuals and the blower. Where it will go I don't know.

In honesty I would do anything to have it back again, was not given enough support by the people and they didn't really care..

David_Forde's picture

What a shame - it sounds like

What a shame - it sounds like the church was ill-advised, or ignored better advice.

John Lane's picture

Unfortunately all the Organs

Unfortunately all the Organs in the Tuam Diocese are in a right poor state, they are all maintained by the I.O.C in Antrim and we have no Organ Advisor in this diocese.

The Irish Organ Company was originally going to restore it. I was against it and recommended Stephen Adams to restore it. He would have done a great job to this Organ but again, money was an issue €40k to restore and enhance the voicing, new bellows and action and slim the case or €80k with Hybrid Digital Stops to add colour and some power to the Organ.

It could have been still nice with nothing touched to the spec, like every Organist likes another stop like a worn out carthorse, but its quality not quantity. Though the mechanical action was heavy and could have been lightened, still preferred the Old touch compared to plastic keys on the Makin. Like you can buy a redundant Pipe Organ for €22k and would have done a fine job. My position as Organist is not going to be forever, so would love to get another post with decent or reasonable playing pipe organ.

John Lane's picture

Ray can you add the Piccolo

Ray can you add the Piccolo 2ft to the Swell and change the Date to 1876, cheers.

Ray's picture

Spec updated

Thanks John - I've made the edits.