organ114 - Birmingham Organists' Association

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organ 114

December 2011

4 manuals
53 speaking stops

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St Mary
the Virgin


JJ Binns, 1912

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The third and last of the organs featured following the association's trip to Shrewsbury is found in the town centre church of St Mary the Virgin, made redundant in 1987 and now in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust.

The organ is tucked away in a high north transept loft accessed via an open (and very narrow) metal spiral staircase - see right-hand photo - that was sufficently difficult to negotiate that it discouraged several members from ascending to the console!  

The casework dates from a 1729 organ by Harris & Byfield, and three ranks from that instrument survive as part of the present Choir division.

From its elevated position, the sound struggles to make an impact down in the nave, which is a shame because this is clearly a fine, unmolested example of the work of the famous Leeds organ-builder J J Binns, and was awarded a Historic Organ Certificate in 1999.

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