Dent church organ gets protected status

First published in News

A DALES church organ has hit the right note with historians, who have graded it as an instrument of national significance.

Following a £50,000 restoration project, the organ at St Andrew’s Church at Dent, has been awarded a two-star heritage certificate because of its historic importance.

The Rev Peter Boyles said the 128-year-old instrument was always thought to be special but it was not until restorers from Durham started work that they realised how highly it was prized by historians.

He said: “The organ restoration was completed two years ago as part of the restoration of the church including the clock and the bells.

"The Institute of British Organ Building have since looked at it and awarded it as Grade II listed which means it must be carefully preserved for future generations.”

The organ was commissioned in 1892 by musical Dent vicar Joseph Haydon, who composed and had published choral music.

It was built by Vincent and Co at Sunderland and has more than 700 8ft metal pipes, which were dismantled and taken away to be cleaned after years of use.

A lot of its original leather and wood working had also disintergrated and the organ blower needed replacing.

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Money for the project came from fundraising by parisioners and Dentdale villagers, various grants and private donations.

Roger Bush, who has played St Andrew’s organ for 40 years, said: “The congregation think the restoration has improved its tone.

"I’m sure after a year of having hymns played on the piano the return of the organ has been very welcome.”

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